Liberal Arts Blog — Johan Jongkind— “The Seine and Notre Dame in Paris “(1864)
Liberal Arts Blog — Friday is the Joy of Art, Architecture, Design, Film, and All Things Visual Day
Today’s Topic: Johan Jongkind (1819–1891) — “The Seine and Notre Dame in Paris “(1864)
Johan Jongkind, a Dutch landscape painter, may have given the world the most beautiful painting of Notre Dame ever. I just came across it a few weeks ago and thought I’d share it with you. Jongkind had been unknown to me but I have since learned that Claude Monet, the great impressionist, Charles Baudelaire, the poet, and Emile Zola, the novelist were all huge fans. Monet would write of Jongkind as “a quiet man with a talent beyond words.” I don’t know about the quiet part but Monet nailed the talent part. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
JONGKIND WAS AN IMPORTANT MENTOR TO MONET AND OTHERS BUT NEVER MADE IT BIG HIMSELF
1. Above is a portrait of Jongkind by Gustave Courbet (1819–1877), the leading French realist of the 19th century.
2. “He became from this moment my true master and it [is] to him, that I owe the definitive training of my eyes.” (Monet)
3. “One must not forget that Boudin had received lessons from a master, Jongkind, whose oeuvre, especially in the watercolors, is the origin along with Corot of what has been called Impressionism.” (Monet)
NB: Jongkind loved the feedback he got in Paris: “I miss my friends in Paris. Holland is fine to paint, but Paris is the only place to follow one’s studies. One can find judges there who will encourage you, who will tell one what is necessary and what is missing. My great hope is to return as soon as the weather and luck are on my side for the journey.” (Jongkind)
“MY SPECIALTY IS REALLY PAINTING MOONLIGHT BUT I WILL NOT FORGET THE SUNSHINE” (Jongkind)
1. Best known for his marine landscapes, Jongkind painted in the classic Dutch tradition of low horizons and big skies.
2. He was born in a small town in the Netherlands near the border with Germany but spent most of his adult life in France.
3. Although admired by his fellow painters, he never garnered the success he deserved and fell into depression and alcoholism.
NB: Paul Signac (1863–1935), the neo-impressionist, has described Jongkind as a kind of missing link between Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796–1876) and Claude Monet (1819–2926). The image seems apt.
Other attempts to capture Notre Dame on canvas: do you have a favorite?
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