Thursday, March 31, 2011


Carolus Duran playing the piano
Creator: unidentified photographer
Archives of American Art
Smithsonian Institution at

Carolus Duran
Charles Auguste Émile Durand, known as Carolus Duran (4 July 1837 – 17 February 1917), was a French painter and art instructor. He is noted for his stylish depictions of members of high society in Third Republic France. He was born in Lille. He studied at the Lille Academy and then at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In 1861, he traveled to Italy and Spain for further study, especially devoting himself to the pictures of Velázquez. His dramatic painting "Murdered, or The Assassination" (1866), was one of his first successes, and is now in the Lille museum.

The Convalescent
Oil on canvas, c 1860
Paris, Musée d'Orsay
RMN (Musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

This painting perpetuates the memory of the painting Carolus-Duran submitted to the Wicar de Lille competition, entitled Visiting the Convalescent. Jean Baptiste Wicar (1762-1834) was a Neo-Classical painter, collector and benefactor of the Musée de Lille, who started a competition for artists to demonstrate their skills in perspective, anatomy, painting and expression. Carolus Duran won the prize in 1861 with Visiting the Convalescent, enabling him to obtain a grant and travel to Italy. In spite of this success, he was unhappy with his painting and cut it up, keeping only two fragments: a white dog and this Convalescent. There is also a variant on this subject, The Sleeping Man, which the artist donated to the Musée de Lille in 1862.

Portrait of Zacharie Astruc
Oil on canvas c 1860
Jpg: Joconde Database
Musée d'Orsay

This work fits into the Realist movement, a style promoted by Zacharie Astruc, a friend of Carolus Duran, and also by the painters Fantin-Latour and Alphonse Legros who encouraged him in this direction. The influence of Courbet and his Wounded Man - which Carolus-Duran saw in 1855 in The Pavilion of Realism set up by Courbet within the Universal Exhibition - is striking. The way Carolus-Duran cut the painting, creating an unusual framing similar to that used by Degas, emphasises its modernity, and perhaps explains the artist's gesture. With its vigorous brushwork and striking colours The Convalescent is one of Carolus-Duran's most successful works.

Portrait du peintre espagnol Moreno, 1866
Author Guérin Nicolas
Musée des Augustins Toulouse

Lady with a Glove La dame au gant
Oil on canvas, 1869
Source ARC at
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

Carolus Duran became best known as a portrait painter, and, as the head of one of the principal ateliers in Paris, a teacher of some of the most brilliant artists of the next generation who were his pupils. His painting "Lady with the Glove", a portrait of his own wife, was bought for the Musée du Luxembourg in Paris. (

Madame Ernest Feydeau
Source l'illustration Européenne 1871
Author l'ill

The Artist's Daughter, Marie-Anne
Oil on canvas, 1874
Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco

Portrait of Carolus Duran by John Singer Sargent
Oil on canvas, 1879
Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
Williamstown, Massachusetts

Carolus Duran was John Singer Sargent's teacher and would have a profound impact on him. When Sargent went to Paris in May of 1874, it was with the goal of gaining entrance of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. To achieve this, however, the family knew he needed to study at one of the independent ateliers and in a matter of only ten days they had searched, interviewed, and then finally accepted by Carolus Duran. In truth, it wouldn't be the Ecole, but Carolus-Duran who would have the most impact on the young artist.

Carolus Duran, c 1880
Source Harvard Art Museum/Fogg Museum

Portrait of Édouard Manet
Oil on canvas, 1880
Private Collection

Sketch of Édouard Manet
Middletown, CT Davison Art Center
Wesleyan University wiki
From petrus.agricola's photostream at

Artist in her workshop
Portrait of Carolus Duran's wife
La Salle University Art Museum, Philadelphie

Carolus-Duran reveled in the attention of his status as one of the leading portrait artists and teacher in the city. His flamboyance was almost unmatched. In an article dated June of 1885 in "Art Age" gives you a glimpse: Everybody familiar with the artistic haunts of Paris knows Carolus Duran, with his bushy black curls thickly streaked with gray, his costume always at the height of the mode, his hat always a little in advance of it, his flowing wristbands and gold bracelets soldered upon his wrists, and his general air of a Fortuny cavalier toned down to walk the Boulevards. . . . (as many) old Parisians ... were familiar with the sight of the young Carolus drawing his blouse tightly about his figure and writhing to see himself from all points of view in large restaurant mirrors as he exclaimed, 'The torso of an Apollo !'
(Art Age, June 1885, quoted in Barbara Weinberg, Uncanny Spectacle : The Public Career of the Young John Singer Sargent)

Portrait of Madame Sophie Croizette

l'homme endormi
From gaelle_kermen's photostream at

l'homme endormi

Portrait de Georges Feydeau
Auteur dramatique
Author Vassil
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lille

Painting King Chulalongkorm of Siam
San Remo, 1907
From Matt Davies,Kansas City at

Don Fernando del F. . ., 1908
Jpg: Friend of the JSS Gallery
From Matt Davies,Kansas City at

In 1889, Carolus Duran was made a commander of the Legion of Honour. In 1890, he participated in the creation of the National Society of French Art (Société Nationale des Beaux Arts). He became a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in 1904, and in the next year, was appointed director of the French Academy in Rome to succeed Eugène Guillaume. He died in Paris.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


In politics, perhaps the most common form of character assassination is the spread of allegations that a candidate is a liar. Other common themes may include allegations that the candidate is a bad or unpopular member of his family, has a bad relationship with his spouse or children, is disrespected by his former co-workers, or routinely engages in disturbing, socially unacceptable behavior, such as sexual deviancy.
Political aims can be accomplished by way of character assassination. When someone emerges into public perception who thinks and acts independently or who works at cross purposes to those in power, they often face character assassination. This is done by scandalous gossip columns in corporate tabloids or partisan news outlets. Whatever the method, the final destination for the target is the same – the death of their active characters as agents for positive change; being cast into the abyss of collective forgetting. How is this different from physical assassination? Character assassination is the murder of someone in the public consciousness. While physical assassination is carried out instantly with a bullet, character assassination is a gradual process of destroying the public image, thus incapacitating the person’s ability to freely act. This occurs without public awareness of the machinations and intentions behind the events and often without revealing who actually pulls the trigger. Blindness of one’s unconscious emotions and the mechanism of projection make one vulnerable to manipulation. People are impelled to react to outer compulsion. The control of perception works to activate repressed emotions and desires. The public then becomes like a group of rats in a lab. With simple stimulus of threat or reward the desired responses from the people are attained.
(Character Assassination of Julian Assange by Nozomi Hayase Competition in many spheres of social, professional, and political life often looks like a contest of words and images. To win in a political race or secure a desirable place in the eyes of public opinion, people use a wide range of such symbols, labels, and descriptions. Very often such descriptions of other people are clear exaggerations and even distortions. They repeatedly aim not at other people’s actions but rather at their personality. By attacking an individual's personal life, facts of biography, and specific individual features (which we will call them "character" for convenience) the attacker tries to achieve a specific goal: to hurt the victim politically, morally, socially, or psychologically and thus, depending on circumstances, remove him or her from a contest, sway public opinion, or achieve some other goal.
More than fifty years ago, Jerome Davis in his classic book, “Character Assassination” tried to show that the attempts to smear someone's reputation are rooted in crystal clear political motivations and count on the public's "fear, ignorance, envy, suspicion, malice, jealousy, frustration, greed, aggression, economic rivalry, emotional insecurity and an inferiority complex.” Collective character assassination is a form of summary punishment.
In the Soviet Union in the 1930s, in China in the 1940s and Vietnam in the 1950s, the ruling Communist Parties began unprecedented campaigns of accusations, lies, and distortions targeting a summary character of so-called rich peasants who were designated in this category by Marxist ideology and politics. These peasants were routinely portrayed as greedy, mean, arrogant, uncaring, and disinterested in government’s policies. Songs and literature pieces were created to inflict further damage. In doing so, the governments attempted to justify political violence against the well-to-do peasantry and to clean up the way toward total collectivization of agriculture in these countries.
Since the 1960s until today, the famous Russian author and Soviet dissident, Alexander Solzhenitsyn in different times but consistently was accused of being a Jew, a traitor, a Nazi collaborator, a prison snitch, and a western paid agent. His letters to his former wife were published and several quotes deliberately taken away and exposed. According to the attackers, he was a selfish, histrionic individual caring only about his fame and drawing attention to self. He was accused of sadistic attempts to destroy the otherwise great reputation of the Soviet Union.
(Character Assassination: a Cross-Cultural and Interdisciplinary Approach, Presented at the ISPP Annual Meeting, Paris 2008 by Eric Shiraev, Fred Bemak, and Rita Chungof George Mason University, USA at
Individuals have been falsely labeled liars, embezzlers, frauds, hypocrites, or worse. The charges have sometimes been republished by third parties paid to do so who have made character assassination their stock and trade. Lost in all of this are truth, decency, and the underlying reasons why the person was attacked. Oftentimes character assassination has been used as a means to obfuscate important issues or to advance a private agenda at public expense. It is generally wise counsel to view with particular skepticism any person who attempts to win support through an attack on the character of an opponent. Whenever we see such an attack, we should recoil from it, become contemplative, and examine in detail the reputation of the person making the charge. If we rely on that approach, we are less likely to be deceived and more likely to appreciate that the character attack is usually a foil designed either to obfuscate the real issue or to place doubt in our minds concerning the message conveyed on the erroneous premise that the validity of the message necessarily turns on the character of the messenger. Among the vilest people are those who resort to character assassination in lieu of frank statements of disagreement or serious argument. We see resort to attack on character frequently in politics, but it is becoming increasingly more commonplace in charged arguments over science and medicine. Wherever it appears, it suggests an underlying illicit motivation on the part of the one casting aspersion, but it can succeed in damaging deservedly good reputations, particularly when the one casting aspersion has an apparent position of prominence and access to major media and the one being maligned does not.
(THE CHARACTER ASSASSINS By Attorney Jonathan Emord at Character assassination techniques do not need to be true. 'Mud sticks' as they say and an accusation of wrong-doing is enough to sow the seeds of doubt in the minds of others. Witch-hunts, both ancient and modern use such methods. Politicians are famed for their attacks on their political opponents, from sly innuendo to dragging skeletons from hidden closets. Their allies and enemies in the media do this too, and a libelous headline can cause damage that no retraction can erase. Storytelling may be used in the assassination process, framing the person as a villain and weaving a story around them about their evil deeds. Stories seem truer than simple assertions and so have greater power. Most of the population of a country depend on the media for the 'truth', which gives the media immense power and hence also a target for politicians who may try to influence or even infiltrate newspapers and other broadcasters. With the advent of the web and blogging, the situation is more confused as both propagandists and anti-propagandists make bold assertions that are impossible to verify.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Mian Situ

American artist Mian Situ was born in 1953 in China’s southeast province of Guongdong (formerly Canton) in the capital city of Guangzhou. At the age of thirteen an artist friend introduced him to art. Situ recalls, “The process (of painting) amazed me and ultimately gave me a channel to release energy.” As part of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution Chairman Mao locked the libraries and destroyed many works of art, and hid information pertaining to other cultures. Situ’s first exposure to European classical art was when a friend with a set of keys to a library opened the door and showed Situ art books from the Italian Renaissance. The next two years Situ spent copying from these books and then, drawing from life, absorbing everything he possibly could about painting.

Mian Situ
Mian Situ recieved his formal art training in his native homeland of Guangdong. He graduated with a BAchelor of fine arts from the prestigious Guangzhou Institute of Fine Art. After instructing for six years, he earned a MAsters in Fine Art. Immigrating to Canada, then later moving to the United States, Mian's paintings clearly reflect his upbrining in the rural countryside of his native China. His artistic diversification of subject matter, from the people of the small villages and farming communities going about their daily lives to the exquisite portraiture as well as his most recent works inspired by western historical themes and American landscapes, all reflect the sensitive dedication of this master artist.
(Borsini-Burr Galleries at

Chinatown Market, San Francisco

“This is a typical Chinese market in old Chinatown, above, right here in America. In a market like this, one could find the ingredients for the same food they ate in China and prepare it in exactly the same way. The market looked very similar to those in my childhood hometown in Southern China, where I was often sent on errands, so this painting was inspired by both personal childhood memories and late-19th century photographs of San Francisco”. – Mian Situ.

Chinese Flower Shop, San Francisco

The titles of several of Situ’s San Francisco Chinatown paintings include the dates 1904, 1905 and 1906. The early 20th century was a pivotal time for this community. Chinatown was a vibrant commercial center where goods and services between the two cultures were exchanged and the success of the Chinese drew some negative attention as well. Anti-Chinese immigration laws had been passed and renewed and in 1904, a publicly traded company was incorporated with the goal of acquiring most of the land in Chinatown and dislocating the residents to an outlying area. This goal seemed easily achievable after the earthquake and fire of 1906. Chinatown was one of the worst hit areas and the Chinese-American businessmen and landlords organized to rebuild quickly. That effort, combined with the recognition of the economic value of Chinatown and international pressure, served to ensure that San Francisco’s Chinese community would stay in the neighborhood they had started back in the Gold Rush days of the mid-19th century. “In this painting (above)I focused on the two Chinese children's expressions as they encountered an American girl” said the artist. “In my Chinatown scenes, I always try to incorporate an element of cultural crossroads.” – Mian Situ.
(The Greenwich Workshop at

A Group of Chinese Children Rendered Homeless
Earthquake and Fire

Chinese Family Lost their Home
Earthquake and Fire

The old postcards of San Francisco (above) provide a great visual look back at San Francisco's history. These post cards are from around 1900-1905. These photographs were taken in black and white (color photography did not exist then) and the color was added later by an artist.

Calico Dress

Because of the circumstances of turn-of-the-century Chinese immigrants to America, many of them had few alternatives to mining, working in restaurants or laundries. Operating a laundry required relatively little capital, education or English fluency. Often times, entire families lived crammed together in the back of their laundry storefronts. While the parents worked, the children helped however they could. It was hot, 14-hour-per-day work and after lunch the young man ironing struggles to stay alert while the mother does the mending. Chinese culture, food and clothing may have been replicated in Chinatowns on the West Coast, yet everything around the tight-knit communities was different. "I posed the daughter curiously trying on the Calico Dress (above) brought in by their American customer", says the artist. Is she wondering what it feels like to be an American girl or is it only a strange costume?
(The Greenwich Workshop at

Mian Situ
Mian Situ appears to be part of a remarkable cultural transference. This transference occurred when 19th-century European academic realism traveled to Russia under the reign of the Czars. There it developed in the service of Communism as Socialist Realism and was later imported to Mao's China. Western oil painting techniques were fostered in the People's Republic during the Cultural Revolution and were subsequently available to talented and hardworking young Chinese. Situ was one of the best, and when he emigrated to the West, he brought his skills with him. Mian Situ’s debut in the United States began with the 1995 Oil Painters of America National Juried Exhibition, in which the judges recognized his exceptional talent and awarded him the $10,000 Best of Show award. He was also voted the People’s Choice Award recipient by collectors. Mian’s artistic genius has gained him an impressive and loyal following. Since that time, collectors throughout the country have avidly sought his work. Known for his depictions of rural China, Mian strives to capture the dignity and beauty in the everyday lives of it's people. He feels a strong need, as a painter, to preserve their traditional ways of life and dress before they are lost. “My paintings always tell stories,” Mian says. “I have spent many years traveling throughout China, taking photographs and studying the people . . . trying to capture the rhythm of their lives.” Situ has further continued to impress collectors with his amazing versatility, venturing out into areas of portraiture and California landscape. Whatever the subject, his fluency of brushwork, subtlety of palette (especially in light reflected into shadow) and empathic portraiture are unsurpassed.

The Uninvited, Angels Camp, California

Second Helping Oil on Canvas
From Autry National Center at

As for subject matter, Situ's work falls mostly into three categories: (1) landscapes (2) pictures of Chinese in rural Chinese settings (3) historical western American scenes. The paintings featuring people tend to be "illustrations" in that something is happening; his work is not simply design or decoration. Usually a psychological overtone is present, especially in the American West scenes, though that overtone tends to be muted.
(Posted by Donald, June 19, 2006 at Fine Art Studio Online at

The Entrepreneur

Artist Mian Situ’s inspiration for The Entrepreneur, above, a portrait-within-a-portrait, came from a real photograph dating from the 1890s. Like many recent arrivals to the United States, the man against the backdrop would have wanted something from America to send to his family overseas and a photograph such as this was common. Situ speculates that the flower in the Chinese man’s hand was most likely the photographer’s idea, as a Chinese man would not have thought to hold a flower in something as important as a photograph. However, in an attempt to learn and fit in with the customs of their new country, such a man (and his family) would be inclined to do what was asked of them or what they were told “should be done in America.” This man and his family have arrived in traditional Chinese dress for their visit to the “modern” American photo studio. The joining of old and new worlds, of east and west, is a central theme in Situ’s work.

Canyon de Chelly North Eastern Arizona

The location of this new release by Mian Situ is Canyon de Chelly in northeastern Arizona (above). Today it is a Navajo Tribal Trust land and home to the preserved ruins of the early Anasazi and Navajo tribes. “When I was in Canyon de Chelly,” says Situ, “I saw a beautiful rainbow after a storm. The Navajo people believe that the gods travel on the rainbow because it moves so rapidly. They also portray the rainbow as the bridge between the human world and the other side. Navajo people have lived in Canyon de Chelly for generations and are still living there today, herding sheep and cattle and farming the land.”

The Powder Monkeys, Cape Horn
Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Giclée Canvas

The California Gold Rush and the opening of the West drove economic interest and demand for a Transcontinental Railroad. In 1863, the Union Pacific began laying track from Omaha to the west while the Central Pacific Railroad Company headed east from Sacramento, California. The two rails would eventually connect on an historic day in May, 1869 in Promontory, Utah. The Central Pacific, plagued by labor and financial problems, laid down only 50 miles of track in the first two years. To compound their problems, the construction path now faced treacherous terrain that rose 7,000 feet into the high Sierras. In his painting, The Powder Monkeys, above, artist Mian Situ honors the Chinese laborers who, in 1865, were hired for $28 per month to do the very dangerous work of blasting tunnels and laying tracks. The Chinese, using techniques they learned at home, were lowered in baskets by rope from the top of cliffs. They hand drilled holes into the granite and packed them with black powder (and later nitroglycerine) to blast tunnels. Many workers risked their lives and perished in the harsh winters and dangerous conditions.
(The jerry W Horn Gallery at
The Powder Monkeys, Cape Horn, made its debut at the 2002 Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and Sale at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles. It won the Master of the American West Award and was purchased for the permanent collection of the museum. It also won The Patrons’Choice Award and The Thomas Moran Memorial Award for Painting.
(Posted by Donald, June 19, 2006 at Fine Art Studio Online at

Golden Mountain - Arriving San Francisco
lila-1's photostream at

The Toymaker of Ross Alley San Francisco

Ross Alley, Chinatown, San Francisco
Photo by Travis at

In 2003, Mian Situ’s Golden Mountain—Arriving San Francisco, 1865 received The Thomas Moran Memorial Award for Painting,The Artist’s Choice and The Patron’s Choice awards. In 2004 The Toy Maker of Ross Alley, San Francisco won The Thomas Moran Memorial Award for Painting while The Patrons’Choice Award went to his work Everybody Loves a Cowboy.
In 2005 Mian Situ was again awarded The Artist’s Choice Award, this time for his epic painting Word of God.
(Scott Usher, Publisher and President, The jerry W Horn Gallery at
Mian Situ displays skill in spades. Besides being an excellent draftsman, his brushwork and use of color are impressive. All things considered, his color work is his strongest suit. Rather than using mostly pure colors, he often tones down much of a painting's surface by mixing in large proportions of complementary colors, this to help frame the areas of focus. And he maintains good overall color-key discipline. He is skillful in defining objects using just the right colors in the right places. Line work is essentially absent in his paintings which are built using color in a kind of Post-Impressionist manner.
(Posted by Donald, June 19, 2006 at Fine Art Studio Online at


Human being is the most intricate creature in this world. Right from the time that he is a baby, he tries to do as he pleases; when asked not to do so he gets intrigued and eventually does it any ways. In such instances the child is scolded while in certain severe cases punishment ensues, which most certainly intimidates the child and prevents him from repeating such a behavior. But does the reproof eliminate the desire to do it again? Does the punishment transform the nature of that child from a brat to an angel? A rule may restrict the child but may not reform him. The criminal who is tried by law may be fined, or imprisoned or punished but all of these attempts neither ameliorate the individuals nor the society, as depicted by the recurrence of offences by the same offender as well as many others.
(Laws restrict but not eradicate wrongdoings, edited by apayapaanify1 at
It is time we break loose from looking for that nameless thing we call society as the perpetrator of all ills and admit that society is made up of individuals. One by one, we make decisions for good or for ill. Those decisions have consequences. Since it is human nature to seek out those with whom we are most comfortable, in that sense the group does become a perpetrator of whatever ill it conceives and practices collectively. But responsibility still begins and ends with the individual.
(Pratt: Individual, not society, responsible for wrongdoing by Beth Pratt at
At the individual level, the powerful self-seeking motivations are for money, power, material possessions, social standing, sex, honors, esteem and emoluments, aesthetic refinements, recreational pleasures and ego gratification. The first listed motivator of money can contribute significantly to the procuring of the other desired objects. Much of the motivation at a larger unit level, such as a corporation, is a collective expression of the motivations of the individuals involved to obtain money and other objects of their desires. Lying, cheating, stealing, defrauding, misrepresentation, concealment, breach of fiduciary obligations, bribery, blackmail, harassment, and lack of proper regard for the interests of others, have enormous potential for individuals and larger units such as corporations to obtain money. This is done, however, to the detriment of other individuals and other units in the society.
(Is U.S. Society Serious about Business Ethics? by Robert Shattuck, Jr. at
Cheating, lying, conning, swindling, finagling, etc.—it’s all startlingly commonplace in today’s society. People know devious actions they commit are immoral, yet illegal and illicit transgressions are still committed by seemingly normal law abiding citizens time and time again. Whether it’s stealing, driving under the influence, beating up a bum or ingesting copious amounts of illegal drugs, people are breaking the law with frequency and ease. It’s no doubt there have always been scallywags, deprecating all over the moral fabric of society, but we are starting to notice that an astonishing amount of orderly people commit crimes without thinking twice. Why is it that while we sense the majority of humans are good natured people, who try to treat others the way they would like to be treated, almost everyone possesses the uncanny ability to flippantly ignore mandated laws and act as contemptuous as possible? It’s a complicated question and one that holds no clear answer.
(Roots of wrongdoing inside all of us by Justin Gillett at Basically, you can either believe this or believe that people are born inherently evil and destined to do crime, and that they do it for no reason at all. It’s never society's fault after all; the banker who forecloses on your house to pay off the debts he inflicted on his company, the politician who put in place laws which prevent a felon from getting a job, then expect them to survive on air when they cancel benefits; no, it is the man and the man alone who is to blame. The old 'man who steals a loaf of bread to feed his family' idea; why? He’s a dirty criminal and should have got a job.
Every major company contains a good number of ethical, honest employees. When major misdeeds occur, therefore, there are often ethical employees who know about the misdeeds. Unfortunately, these employees do not always speak up. Why do otherwise honest employees hesitate to blow the whistle on corporate wrongdoing? Here are a few reasons:
1. Self-interest: Even though an employee might believe that blowing the whistle is the right thing to do, doing so almost always imposes a potential financial cost on the employee. If the scandal at issue is significant, it might cause the company to go out of business, thereby ending the employee's employment. Even if the scandal is minor, it might cost the employee his/her job and make it difficult to find work elsewhere. An employee who is supporting a family might believe that doing so is more important than blowing the whistle on a corporate scandal.
2. Fear of disbelief: In the news, we often hear about whistle blowers who have been vindicated by subsequent investigations. It is possible, though, for someone to blow the whistle and subsequently discredited. How frustrating and embarrassing would it be to publicly disclose your employer's wrongdoings only to find that the media, the courts, and your friends believe you are lying? That is a real risk for whistle blowers.
3. Diffuse responsibility: Potential whistle blowers sometimes make partial attempts at revealing corporate wrongdoing. For example, an ethical employee who knows about a potential corporate scandal might discuss his/her concerns with his supervisor, the company's ethical officer, or others within the corporation. After disclosing the problem to these parties, the employee might feel his/her ethical duties have been fulfilled, even though these parties fail to act on the information.
(What Factors Discourage Whistle Blowers from Exposing Corporate Wrongdoing? by William Tapscott, Yahoo! Contributor Network at
Indiscipline has assumed alarming proportion in our society today that negativism is celebrated rather than abhorred to the extent that when one tries to correct wrongdoing, there is the tendency for them to be condemned than praised. Do attempt in a public transport, for instance, to challenge a reckless driver to drive responsibly and you will be shock to the marrow the sorts of insult the rest of the passengers will yell at you for committing no crime either than your quest to save lives. We are unnecessarily sympathetic and do not want to subject people to disciplinary action. Yet, we are quick to pinpoint accusing fingers at others (often political leadership) for being responsible for our woes. We are not responsible for any wrongdoing as ordinary citizens. As if we appear to forget that it is we who become or make (elect) political leaders. Are we sure we can shun all that we condemn others about if we are in their position? Shall we wait to get there before we change? Definitely not, because it would have been too late as the old adage has it: “you cannot bend a dry stick without breaking it”. Therefore, the right time to change our negative attitudes is now or never.
(S. A. Achanso, UK. at
It is truly said that even a holy man cannot live in peace without satisfying his wicked neighbors. It is therefore not a question whether one wants to live in peace; the more important question is whether the wicked will tolerate it. To bring tolerance among the neighbors so that you can live in peace, they demand that you please them. It is natural with them to be jealous of things which you enjoy but which they could not hope to have. Although in theory it sounds good to preach "live and let live" and "treat thy neighbor as thyself" in actual practice it is seldom followed. One thing is clear: that anyone seeking peace, freedom and happiness, must select a suitable neighborhood.
For a society or a country to be well governed, a certain discipline and self-control become necessary. Allowing each to live as he likes is sure to lead to chaos as the interests of individuals are likely to conflict. What will follow is violence and untruth. Suffering has been the lot of mankind even after centuries of civilization and culture, and it speaks ill of the society and the world that did not benefit from these.
Have we ever thought why our civilization and culture with all their promises and traditions of religion, science, philosophy, sociology, economics, politics and what else there is - have so far failed to give a positive shape to a normal human society where everyone can live in peace, can enjoy happiness and be free? We hardly realize that this is due to the bane of permissive society which is not the product of today as some think but an evil that made inroads, though in small measure, right from the beginning of our civilization and culture. For example, the divine rights of royalty and the mighty and main of privileged class have scant respect for self-control and discipline. Their behavior pattern was governed by their attitude which held self-control in contempt and discipline as a basement.
In permissive society, exceptions become the rule and the rules remain as mere exceptions. So whatever principles, commandments, rules, etc. were formulated by religion, ethics, sociology, economics, law, etc. have remained operative only for those who respect and obey them. Others who defied the structure and authority behaved cynically. After much deliberation on the issues of right and wrong, a framework of rules, customs and commandments happens to be projected - and do we not find them uniformly good everywhere? - But these, however, fail to be imperative. Exceptions enjoyed by might by a few become an eyesore to all others and the latter in their turn take every opportunity to perpetrate the same on the sly. When the majority becomes involved in the act which is wrong socially and legally, there is very little left to be done but to look the other way. This permissiveness is the Magna Carta for the vegetative society which is self-centered and opposed to conventions, discipline, rules and commandments of any kind. Their interest lies in self-satisfaction at every opportunity and by every means possible. There is no directive except sensate pleasure though it may be temporary and consequently harmful even to them.
Members of the permissive society believe that the world is made for them and that there is none to question their acts. Neighbors mean nothing to them where their own self-interest is concerned. If they are afraid to act individually, they take recourse to forming groups and gangs and there are a very few who could challenge them. Goodness being in the minority, the lone good man concerned with his own struggle in life finds it easier to ignore permissive acts even when done in his presence. It is the misfortune of the modern age that, except for a few, almost all are involved in one way or another in supporting permissiveness in society. Living thus in glass houses of their own, none is able to throw a stone at the wicked.
(Permissiveness: Root cause of Society today by Vishwas Purohit at

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Eugène Boudin

In Normandy, the small and charming port town of Honfleur has everything... Away from the crowds, Honfleur also has an art museum with some notable samples of impressionism in Normandy. The Boudin Museum was founded by a local boy who made good: Eugene Boudin, a forerunner of impressionism who's not that well-known, either in the U.S. or France. But his influence is visible in every collection of 19th-century French art.
(Eugene Boudin: The Man Who Inspired Monet by Susan Stamberg at

Eugene Boudin
Eugène Louis Boudin (12 July 1824 – 8 August 1898) was born in Honfleur, in the Normandy region of France. He was born into a family whose life revolved around the sea: both his mother and father made their living in the maritime community, his father eventually becoming a captain and his mother working as a stewardess. Eugène began working alongside his father around the age of ten, when he became a cabin boy on his father’s boat, the Polichinelle, which navigated between Honfleur and Rouen. Aboard the Polichinelle, Eugène began his first drawings, sketching in the margins of his book. While this experience was undoubtedly important for Eugène’s interest in the sea, he did not stay long aboard the Polichinelle after almost drowning and given the Polichinelle’s unreliable history of capsizing.
In 1835 his family moved to Le Havre, where his father established himself as stationer and frame-maker. He began work the next year as an assistant in a stationery and framing store before opening his own small shop. There he came into contact with artists working in the area and exhibited in his shop the paintings of Constant Troyon and Jean-François Millet, who, along with Jean-Baptiste Isabey and Thomas Couture whom he met during this time, encouraged young Boudin to follow an artistic career. At the age of 22 he abandoned the world of commerce, started painting full-time, and traveled to Paris the following year and then through Flanders. In 1850 he earned a scholarship that enabled him to move to Paris, although he often returned to paint in Normandy and, from 1855, made regular trips to Brittany.
In 1856/57 Boudin met the young Claude Monet who spent several months working with Boudin in his studio. The two remained lifelong friends and Monet later paid tribute to Boudin’s early influence.

Approaching Storm
Oil on wood, 1864
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

The Beach at Villerville
Oil on canvas, 1864
Chester Dale Collection
Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

In 1874, a controversial exhibition at the photographer Nadar’s gallery took place, featuring a number of artists with audacious styles, such as Paul Cezanne, Edgar Degas, Monet, Camille Pissaro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, among other avant-garde artists. It was the first Impressionist exhibition and Boudin, too, was an exhibitor. He submitted two canvases and several pastels and watercolors, while simultaneously exhibiting at the Parisian Salon (Quai du Portrieux (Riverbanks of Portrieux) and Rivage du Portrieux (Shore of Portrieux), showing Boudin’s diverse acceptance – being simultaneously present at the avant-garde exhibition at Nadar’s and the Salon, the latter being considered somewhat of an enemy of the former. This was the only Impressionists exhibition in which Boudin participated, but it was an important moment, showing the links between the past and future tendencies of French artists, Boudin acting as an important link between the two.

Coucher de Soleil, Etaples
Sunset, Etaples
Oil on canvas, 1878

A painting of atmospheric splendor, the harbor anchorage of Etaples, above, is blanketed with the luminous colors of the departing sunset. Widely respected as a mentor among his peers, Boudin is high among the inspirational sources of the Plein-Air School of painting, and this canvas is from the period in his career when he mastered coastal seascapes under broad skies.
A sweeping panoramic view over Etaples, a northern principle fishing and leisure point of the Normandy Coast. The town has evolved through centuries of conquest and diplomacy, at different times hosting Vikings, Napoleonic troops, World War I Britains and occupying Germans in World War II. Through it all, the people of Etaples fished and survived. In Boudin’s lifetime, a major railway junction was established, opening the markets of Paris to the fishing, and most importantly, the north French coast as a vacation destination for Parisians headed to the beach. This superb example shows a range of warm, colorful lights casting heavy shadows amongst the ships in the foreground. This special painting by the artist is a perfect example of why Boudin earned the title “The King of Skies” from his artistic peers.

L'Entrée du Port he Havre
Alisa Hamu Photo at

While many of Boudin's paintings depict fashionable vacationers on the beach or promenade, several present the daily activities of the local inhabitants who made such leisurely pursuits possible. Scenes of ships at sea and harbor festivals, as well as washerwomen, fishermen, and sailors at work, all remind the viewer that the English Channel was the economic and social lifeblood of these communities long before the rise of tourism.
Throughout his career, Boudin alternated his time between the seaside and Paris. During the warm summer months, he found inspiration at the shore, initially making meticulously rendered pencil drawings, such as those depicting coastal and farmyard scenes. He soon began to make quickly brushed watercolors of beachside visitors that would have been especially appealing (and affordable) mementos for the tourists depicted in them. In his Paris studio in the winter, Boudin developed his sketches into finished pictures and cultivated a cosmopolitan audience with such large compositions as Entrance to the Harbor, Le Havre, above, which was exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1883. Unlike the watercolors, these paintings served a more public function, helping the artist gain official recognition.
(National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC at

Le port de Camaret
Museo d' Orsay, Parigi

Rivage de Portrieux, Cotes-du-Nord
The Coast of Portrieux, Cotes-du-Nord
Oil on canvas, 1874
Private collection, England
From The Artchive at

La Plage de Benerville, Marèe Basse
The Beach at Benerville, Low Tide
Oil on canvas, 1892
Collection of The Dixon Gallery and Gardens
Bequest of Mr. and Mrs. Hugo N. Dixon

Laundresses by a Stream
The National Gallery, London

Bruxelles, canal de Louvain

La plage à Etretat (Stranden ved Etretat)

Der Strand von Trouville
Oil on canvas
Source The Yorck Project
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Eugène Boudin at Deauville-Trouville
Honfleur, Musée Eugène Boudin
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC at

Market scenes, fisher folk and inland village scenes all were delicately worked by Boudin, but it was the harbor scenes that were his first and lasting love. The one exception was when he would turn to the beach scenes in Trouville and Deauville, when the season took over and the beaches were literally covered with hooped skirts, crinolines and fluttering bonnets. The atmosphere of society taking a formal day by the sea was brilliantly distilled by Boudin’s delicate brush; his eye noting the carefully arranged poses balanced on absurd little chairs, parasols carefully keeping any uncovered skin out of the sun, and the escorts stiffly at attention with morning suits correctly buttoned and top hats at the proper angle. Color is used sparingly – black was the fashion, but occasionally a brightly dressed child stands out and, of course, the ever-present French flag.
Boudin rarely left the north of France, but there were two notable periods when he did travel. The first was a six-month stay in Venice (during which period he produced over eighty paintings); the second and final sojourn was to the south of France in the last six years of life. Ill health required that he should leave the damp climate of the English Channel and his beloved Normandy and Brittany for the warmth and sunlight of the south. He painted but missed the luminous light of the north and was never able to recreate the Mediterranean skies as he wished.
The artist suffered many disappointments during his life; not least being the lack of recognition given to him by the public. In 1892 he was given the Legion d’Honneur. Scant recognition for one who virtually directed the birth of Impressionism by example. More to the point is the huge esteem that Boudin was held in by Corot, Courbet, Sisley, Manet, Monet and Jongkind. Today Boudin’s pictures give timeless pleasure to literally hundreds of fortunate collectors; at last he is seen for the genius he undoubtedly was.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Barbizon landscapes are characterized by their realism and tranquil, meditative attitude toward nature. Barbizon, a village on the edge of the Fontainebleau Forest to the south of Paris, was the hub for a group of painters active around the middle of the nineteenth century. This generation formed a bridge between the academic salon painters of the first quarter of the century and the impressionists, who came onto the scene in 1870s. In their day, the Barbizon painters-among them Rousseau, Daubigny, Corot, Millet, Dupr, Millet, Diaz, Troyon, and others-were considered revolutionary, preferring to paint outdoors "en plein air" rather than in studios and elevating landscape itself to a respectable place in the hierarchy of approved subjects.
(Art in the Afternoon, L.L.C. at
Hippolyte Camille Delpy, an important nineteenth century French landscape painter, was born in Joigny in 1842. He is best known today for beautifully composed landscapes executed in the style of the Barbizon School.
(Art in the Afternoon, L.L.C. at

La grande rue à Auvers-sur-oise

Washerwomen In A River Landscape

Oil on Canvas
Private collection
From ARC at

Bord De L'Oise
By the Banks of l'Oise
Oil on panel
Private collection
From ARC at

Lavandiere Pres D'Un Groupe De Maisons
Washerwomen near a Group of Houses
Oil on panel
Private collection
From ARC at

The impressionists followed the lead of the Barbizon painters, breaking entirely with the academic tradition: sketching outdoors, seeking new subjects, using much brighter colors, and freeing up their brush strokes. But some of these tendencies were already present in the second generation of Barbizon painters, to which Delpy belongs. In fact, Delpy can be considered a transitional figure. He studied with Daubigny and Corot and remained close to them all his life, but he also befriended Pissarro and Cezanne and in return was encouraged by them to add richer colors to his palette.
(Art in the Afternoon, L.L.C. at

A River Landscape

A River Landscape, above, is an expansive landscape in which grassy banks flow gently into the edges of the river. To the left, a tree’s long feathery branches stretch up into the pink sky, offering shelter to the three female figures washing clothes in the water. The time is late afternoon or early evening, a fact indicated by the quality of light found in the sky, and by the long shadows cast across the calm river waters. The billowy clouds unfurl across the horizon line, framed by the pink and yellow tinged sky. Delpy’s gift for the relation of natural beauty is quaintly exemplified here. The artist deftly portrays the brilliant, yet subtle, interplay of colors found at sunset: a palette infused with purple, yellow, blue, green and brown. Simultaneously, he skillfully achieves a harmony of shapes, and patterns of light and shadow that visually anchor the painting for the viewer. But the painting’s exemplification of technical mastery is hardly the main thing one notices in viewing our landscape. As one’s eye travels from the cottony lavender clouds to the birds dipping near the water’s surface, the luminous colors melt into a place of serene tranquility and timeless beauty.

Le Rivierea pont sur Yvonne
PROVENANCE Rehs Galleries, Inc., New York
Private Collection, California

Apart from being accepted for the first time at the Salon, the year 1869 was marked by extensive traveling for Delpy, a pattern that had been established early on and one that would remain a consistent characteristic of his life. He divided his time between his two masters, earlier in the year joining Corot in Ville d’Avray and later returning to the company of Daubigny at Auvers, where he met several other artists, including his future father-in-law, Aman Cyboulle, a flower painter. Interspersed between these periods studying the landscape, he managed to return to Joigny to spend time with his family. Though his first Salon entry, Un Déjeuner de Carême, chez mon père (A Luncheon during Lent, at my father’s house), a still life, his experience in Corot’s studio and alongside Daubigny painting en plein air, the young artist had begun on his path to artistic success. His 1869 debut would begin a career at the Salon that spanned over 40 years.
Over the course of the next year and into 1871, France was engaged in the Franco-Prussian war, which halted the Salon of 1871. When the Salon was reinstated the following year, 1872, artists were faced with an increasingly severe jury which refused almost 4,000 paintings, including Delpy’s. Presented with increasing obstacles, several artists banded together and petitioned the President of the Republic for permission to open a Salon of their own for the artists who were not permitted entry into the official Salon, and also protesting that not one landscape artist was part of the Salon jury. The letter was signed by such influential names as Daubigny, Corot, Honoré Daumier, Theodore Frère, and Edouard Manet. Delpy was also among the protesters. Though this Salon did not take place for financial reasons, the first Salon des Refusés did take place in 1873, though Delpy, incensed by the previous loss, did not take part. Hardly an overly combative person, however, Delpy’s disposition was described in only the best terms (quoted in Michèle Lannoy-Duputel’s Hippolyte-Camille Delpy, 1842-1910: Invitation au Voyage, Paris: Léopold d’Or, 1989, pg. 59):
The saddest face would leave this studio happy; here one can work and laugh at the same time. This convivial artist with a warm face is both hospitable and frank; he does not pretend to be an art pundit as he is not yet a pundit of art; at the same time he works and occasionally tells a bawdy joke.

Cirque dHiver
Oil on Canvas
Private collection
From ARC at


His Salon paintings of 1873 and 1874 were well received. In 1875, exhibited a snow scene at the Salon for the first time and was complemented by the critic Jules Castagnary for his originality.
In 1876 Delpy organized a sale of his own paintings at the Hôtel Drouot, an unusual undertaking. The sale was favorably announced in several newspapers and was a significant success, with all 45 works sold. That summer, Delpy moved his family to Bois-le-Roi outside the Forest of Fontainebleau.
At the Salon of 1880, Delpy exhibited a potato harvesting scene, his first landscape with large-scale figures. Throughout the 1880s, Delpy alternated work on the Normandy coast with stays in the Forest of Fontainebleau and in Paris. Delpy received his first Salon medal in 1884.

La Chaumiere A Berneval
Thatched Cottage in Berneval
Oil on Canvas, 1885
Private collection
From ARC at

In 1886, Delpy traveled to the United States as part of a team that painted a panorama of the battle of Manassas (American Civil War) in Washington DC. At the Exposition Universelle of 1889, Delpy was awarded an honorable mention. The Galerie Georges Petit, a leading dealer in contemporary French paintings, began to handle his work and subsequently organized several one-man exhibitions of Delpy's paintings.
Petit was simultaneously promoting Pissarro and Alfred Sisley and would later show Monet. In 1908, Delpy was given an exhibition at the prestigious Grafton Galleries in London.
Delpy died in June 4, 1910.