Thursday, December 2, 2010

MIDWESTERN GENRE SCENES




Cow Punchers
Painting - oil on canvas
Private collection
From museuma.com


Born on a farm in Voigstaedt, Weimar, Germany, Richard Lorenz became a painter and illustrator of dramatic western scenes, especially of the Plains Indian culture and the consequences of encounters with the white man's civilization. His most famous pupil was Frank Tenney Johnson. He was also well known for panoramic painting and for depictions of horses, genre and landscapes.
As a young person in Germany, Lorenz determined to become a Biblical painter because he was fascinated by the subject of wandering, nomadic people in wilderness areas. He grew up in a village twenty-eight miles north of Weimar and at age 15, began art study in Weimar including at the Royal Academy of Arts, where his work was recognized with several distinguished prizes. One of those prizes was endowed by composer Franz Liszt, and another was the Karl Alexander Prize, which he won twice. It was the school's highest award. One of his most influential teachers was Heinrich Albert Brendel (1827-1895), famous European painter of animals, especially horses. Other teachers were landscapist Theodor Hagen (1842-1919) and portraitist Max Thedy (1858-1924).
In May 1886, Lorenz arrived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he established his career and lived for most of the remainder of his life. He has been described by an art historian of that city as "the most gifted German immigrant artist to settle in Milwaukee." (Merrill 66). Lorenz initially immigrated to Milwaukee at the request of William Wehner who had formed the American Panorama Company and then recruited German painters noted for their skills with religious and historical subjects. The resulting panoramas were huge lengthy canvases, some of them 25 X 350 feet. Lorenz worked on "The Battle of Atlanta", which became the company's most famous work. Lorenz specialized in horses, depicting them in every kind of activity and perspective.
(joeyotistyle at instappraisal.com)


Horse Market Midwinter
West Bend Art Museum Collection
From tfaoi.com


The last farewell
Oil on canvas
Private collection, Germany, circa 1930
From artnet.com


Two scouts
Oil on canvas
From artnet.com


Standing Indian
From askart.com


From 1887 to 1890, he travelled and sketched in the West including Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, and California. In 1887, he worked with August Lohr to install a panorama in San Francisco. While there he sketched scenes of Chinatown and Monterey. On this extensive trip, he went to the Crow Reservation, and from this experience, did his first Indian subjects inspired by stories he heard of the Sioux Massacre at Little Big Horn.
(joeyotistyle at instappraisal.com)
He returned to Milwaukee in December 1888 to replace Otto Von Ernst as Director of the Wisconsin School of Design, the new name for the old Milwaukee Art School. When Von Ernst returned from a one-year leave of absence, Lorenz stayed on as Assistant Director until the school closed in 1891. Later he taught at the Wisconsin School of Art maintained by the Milwaukee Art Students League, and in 1894, he established his own school, the Lorenz Art School.
During his teaching career, Lorenz continued his own fine-art painting. He frequently traveled west and was especially fascinated by storms of the Great Plains. He also did much regional painting around Wisconsin, where his trademark subject matter was panoramic landscape with unique lighting and a sense of an ever-expanding country. Milwaukee collectors found his work appealing, and it was widely exhibited. He also exhibited outside of Milwaukee including Munich in 1891, Paris Salon in 1901, Chicago World's Fair in 1893, the St. Louis Exposition of 1904, and regularly at the Art Institute of Chicago and in exhibitions sponsored by the Western Society of Artists.
(joeyotistyle at instappraisal.com)
Lorenz was a long-time Milwaukee art teacher with a lasting influence on the city's artistic development. He credited his success in painting to his earlier studies in sculpture and the principles of modeling….. His sense of history, his skill in sketching animals, and his curiosity and enthusiasm for the West, led him to become one of the foremost painters of Western genre after Frederic Remington's death. Lorenz was preoccupied with light and with the sincerity and meaning of vast solitude. Today he is also known for his Midwestern genre scenes.
(digicoll.library.wisc.edu)


Coming to Town
Oil on canvas, 1903
Private collection
From ARC


The Cutter
Painting - oil on canvas 1911
Milwaukee Art Museum (United States)
From museuma.com


Stagecoach Pursued by Mounted Indians 1912
From rubinart.com


The Last Glow of a Passing Nation
Custer's Last Stand
Painting - oil on canvas circa 1914
Private collection
From museuma.com


On August 3, 1915, Lorenz died in MIlwaukee from a stroke suffered while walking near his home. His health had been declining and he suffered near blindness from cataracts. He is buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Milwaukee.
During his lifetime, he was often compared to western painter Frederic Remington because he was an important recorder of western subjects for future generations. Although the reputation of Lorenz has not been as great as that of Remington, he made significant contributions through his own canvases and joint-project panoramas in enlightening Easterners of scenes of the American West.
(joeyotistyle at instappraisal.com)
A leading figure in western genre art, he left behind many canvases and hundreds of sketches made from Wisconsin scenes and from trips to the Dakotas and Montana. He exerted a strong influence on Wisconsin art.
(Dictionary of Wisconsin biography)


2 comments:

Gene Meier said...

I am writing the first spreadsheet from the American point of view about 19th century rotunda panoramas.These were the biggest paintings in the world, 50 x 400=20,000 square feet, housed in their own rotundas which were 16-sided polygons. Chicago in 1893 had 6 panorama companies and 6 panorama rotundas. Lorenz was teacher to my great aunt, Mathilde Georgine Schley (Horicon, Dodge County, Wisconsin may 14,1864/March 20,1941 Milwaukee). Tante Tilde was a dress maker, apartment owner, telegrapher, art teacher to young people, American Impressionist, was an artist-model in William Wehner's panorama studio in downtown Milwaukee, writer for the German-American press between the world wars, author DEUTSCHAMERIKA (1935) and FRITZ, PAT,JULES UND HANK (1940); collaborator with Pastor Wilhelm Iwan on his Die altlutherische Auswanderung um die Mitte des 19.Jahrhunderts (Breslau 1943). She belonged to several Independent art societies:Salons of America, Society of Independent Artists, Chicago No-Jury Society of Artists, Buffalo Salon of Independent Artists, Wisconsin No-Jury; also, Wisconsin Painters & Sculptors

rompedas said...

Thanks to Gene Meier for the comments. I am sorry for the late reply. I have not been attending to my blog for such a long time.