Friday, December 31, 2010

A PICTORIAL AMBIENCE




Alberto Pasini by Tiziano Marcheselli
Source Book "Le strade di Parma"
From it.wikipedia.org


Orientalist painting was in great vogue throughout Europe in the 1850s and Alberto Pasini quickly enjoyed great success. One reason for his popularity was the remarkable sense of verisimilitude that his paintings convey. While many of his contemporaries composed their works in the studio using written descriptions, book illustrations, and artfully arranged props, Pasini drew on his voluminous sketchbooks and myriad firsthand experiences, which give his paintings an unmistakable ring of authenticity.
(doylenewyork.com)
Alberto Pasini (1826-1899) was born in Parma and studied at the Academy there, before moving to Paris in 1851, where he studied with Eugène Ciceri (1813-1890) and was a friend of Théodore Chassériau. When Chassériau was unable to participate in the 1855 French offical mission to Persia, Pasini was invited as personal artist to diplomat Prosper Bourée. This trip lasted a year and a half, during which time the artist visited Egypt, Saudi Arabia, South Yemen and the Persian Gulf. He was also commissioned by the Shah of Persia to execute several paintings. He returned to France via the Black Sea and Constantinople.
(emiratesartandantiquesfairs.com)
Pasini discovered his personal style - and what would become his tour de force: Orientalism. Unlike many of his contemporaries who created their Orientalist paintings in Paris studios based on secondary accounts and arranged studio props, Pasini undertook numerous trips to the Middle East.
(christies.com)


Circassian Cavalry
at thr door of a Byzantine Monument
Awaiting the Commanding Officer
On view at the Art Institute of Chicago
From michellehauske.com


Cairo (Kair)
From commons.wikimedia.org


Fontana turca
From equilibriarte.org


The Palace Guard
Oil on canvas
Private collection
From allartclassic.com


‘La favorite du sultan’
From jmrw.com


A Labor
From artmight.com


The Pashas Escort
From artmight.com


Damascus
From art.thewalters.org


Standing Guard
Oil on canvas
Private collection
From ARC at artrenewal.org


The Watermelon Merchant
From artmight.com


This first trip to the Orient was followed by visits to Egypt in 1860, Constantinople between 1867 and 1869, and to Asia Minor and Syria in 1873. Following the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war, Pasini left Paris and returned to Italy. He would either paint from memory or elaborated on the wealth of drawings, bozzetti and notes that he had rapidly executed on site during his travels. Orientalist compositions formed the bulk of the artist's work throughout his career from the late 1870s until the mid 1880s, incorporating a diversity of 'exotic' elements in these works. Pasini regularly exhibited these works in the Paris Salon, and is counted among the finest of the Orientalists.
(emiratesartandantiquesfairs.com)
Although he frequently visited Venice and Spain, Pasini returned most often to Egypt, which held a great fascination for him. There, he wrote, he had found "a pictorial ambiance adapted to my artistic nature, which is disposed to cheerful plays of light and colour."
(robilantvoena.com)


Mercato in Oriente
From artnet.com


His juxtaposition of different social types brought together by the common bonds of trade and religion, his natural sense of composition and strong sense of realism, combine in the present work to create an image as grand as Mercato in Oriente (above).
Mercato in Oriente was most likely painted during his second trip to Constantinople from 1867 - 69 and coincided with the Sultan's commissions. He coupled his inspiration from his trip to Spain with the great Orientalist painter Jean-Léon Gérôme and the lavish setting to create the energy and composition of Mercato in Oriente. Both Spain and Gérôme doubtlessly influenced the artist, the former with its bright and exceptional color combinations, and the latter with his sublime mastery over issues of composition and space. Pasini's trip to Venice in 1876 also had tremendous impact on his work; the city's opulent decadence is mimicked in the jewel-like chromatic feast of Venetian Byzantine domes and baroque façades.
(christies.com)


An Eastern Market
Oil on canvas
Private collection
From ARC at artrenewal.org


The Fruitmarket
Oil on canvas
Private collection
From ARC at artrenewal.org


Market Scene
From artmight.com


Pasini painted a great number of Constantinople market scenes, usually including certain recurring motifs: horses, a splash of pink or light blue to pick out the womenfolk, a jumble of goods in the foreground, and a dominating background motif - often a minaret. He was intimately familiar with the city, visiting it often: it was relatively close by, he enjoyed strong political connections there (he had been commissioned in 1867 by Sultan Abdul Mecit to paint equestrian military scenes), and the general populace was still wedded firmly to its traditions - C. Juler, Orientalistes de l'Ecole Italienne, Paris, 1987.
(maviboncuk.blogspot.com)


Halte A La Mosquee
Oil on canvas
Private collection
From ARC at artrenewal.org


In The Courtyard
Oil on canvas
Private collection
From ARC at artrenewal.org


Outside The Mosque
Oil on canvas
Private collection
From ARC at artrenewal.org


The Falconers
From artmight.com


Pasini's oriental scenes incorporate superb draghtsmanship and a great sensitivity to color and are, despite their looser brushwork, remarkably similar in overall effect to those of Edwin Lord Weeks. His 'technical skill, sense of color harmony and excellent treatment of light make one regret that his delightful paintings are so rarely to be found.'
(christies.com)


An Arab Caravan
From artmight.com


Pasini's desire to replicate the colors he found in the East is echoed in his writings which were published in l'Album della Esposizione Belle Arti, Turin.In An Arab Caravan (above), it is apparent that 'Pasini was struck by the delicacy of the light in the East. His treatment of the play between shadow and the sun and his almost photographic representation of architecture and figures are a world apart from the imaginary exoticism of earlier Orientalist paintings.' The artist 'excelled in group compositions of horses, their shiny rumps towards the spectator, held by simple soldiers who mix with merchants and passers-by' - C. Juler, Orientalistes de l'Ecole Italienne, Paris, 1987.
(christies.com)


Mercato a Costantinopoli
Market in Constantinople
From maviboncuk.blogspot.com


Pasini's outstanding ability to render architecture accurately and theatrically, allowed him to use expressive Oriental structures as backdrops for his compositions. In Mercato a Costantinopoli (above) he recreates the same market scene as in Mercato in Oriente, but instead, in front of the steps to the Yeni-Cami. Though the architecture in Mercato in Oriente is not immediately identifiable, it does bear resemblance to the structural elements of the Topkapi Palace complex.
(christies.com)


An Arab Encampment
From artmight.com


Pasini's technique combines careful draftsmanship, subtlety of color, and above all, an uncanny exactitude of descriptive detail. His views of Middle Eastern courtyards, markets, and mosques are almost miraculous evocations of polished surfaces-marble inlays, metalwork, glazed ceramic-contrasted with the coarser textures of leather, wool cloth, wood and rough stone. An Arab Encampment (above) is a classic example of Pasini's treatment of a desert subject, with its wonderfully acute depiction of the rugged cliffs, the mist rising above the water, the coarse robes of the men, and the shiny coats of the horses.
(doylenewyork.com)
Alberto Pasini's work found great official acceptance, and he won many awards, including the chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur, and officer of the Légion. His works can be found in many public collections, including the Museo Glauco Lombardi, Parma, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago.
(robilantvoena.com)


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