Sunday, October 23, 2016

José Arrue

José Arrue y Valle, usually known as José Arrue (1885 –1977) was a Basque Spanish painter.
Arrue came from an artistic family: his father, Lucas Arrue, was an art collector, and his three brothers, Alberto, Ramiro, and Ricardo, were also painters. After early studies in Bilbao, he subsequently continued his training in Barcelona, Paris and Milan. He was one of the founders of the weekly El Coitao, and the Association of Basque Artists.
Arrue's love of bullfighting led to his debut in the bullring on October 17, 1909, in Bilbao. According to several authorities, Arrue proved to be a capable matador. Arrue's painting won several awards during his lifetime. He also designed bullfighting posters, did advertising work, and published cartoons in newspapers such as El Sol and El Liberal, and the Buenos Aires newspaper La Razón; an exhibition of his paintings was staged in Buenos Aires in 1928, later travelling to Montevideo, Uruguay.
During the Spanish Civil War, Arrue drew comics describing events from the perspective of the Basque Government.  After the collapse of the Republican Army of the North, and the fall of Santander on September 1, 1937, Arrue was arrested in the city. He was held in Nationalist captivity for two years, during which time he was moved to Orduña prison. He was eventually released in 1940 and went to live in Llodio with his family. Although in semi-retirement from public life, he participated in a number of further exhibitions: a retrospective of his work was held in 1973, and a further one, featuring the work of all of the Arrue brothers, was held in Bilbao in 1977.
Arrue's work is noted for its concrete realism, clear lines and composition, and its focus on Basque subjects, particularly the landscape of the Basque country, its religious festivals, romerias and social rituals, and the lives of its peasantry.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

An Unexpected Treasure

Yesterday in the mail, an unexpected and most appreciated gift from a fellow boinero
A book with historic postcards of Chasseurs Alpins. Some great compositions, many good tartes of course and all completely new to me.
Good to share with the wider boinero community:

Thanks John!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Aurelio Arteta

Aurelio Arteta (1879–1940) was a Spanish painter born in Bilbao. He studied at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid. 
In 1905 and 1906 he travelled to Paris and in Italy, thanks to a grant from the Diputación Foral de Vizcaya. There he was influenced both by Impressionist painting and by the work of Italian Renaissance masters. 
In 1911, along with other artists, he founded the Asociación de Artistas Vascos. In 1930 he was awarded the National Prize for Painting.
After the Spanish Civil War he went into exile, first in France and subsequently in Mexico, where he died in a tram accident.
His painting, somewhat idealized, though melancholic, concentrated on Basque themes, showing both rural scenes and the way that society was changed by industrialization, with townscapes along the river Nervión. His greatest work is the fresco in the vestibule of the Banco de Bilbao, in Madrid.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Clarence "The Big Man" Clemons

Clarence Anicholas Clemons, Jr. (1942 –2011), also known as The Big Man, was an American saxophonist, musician and actor. He was reported to be 6' 5" (195.5 cm) tall. From 1972 until his death, he was a prominent member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, playing the tenor saxophone.
He released several solo albums and in 1985, had a hit single with "You're a Friend of Mine," a duet with Jackson Browne. As a guest musician he also featured on Aretha Franklin's classic "Freeway of Love" and on Twisted Sister's "Be Chrool to Your Scuel" as well as performing in concert with the Grateful Dead and Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band. As an actor Clemons featured in several films, including New York, New York and Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.
He also made cameo appearances in several TV series, including Diff'rent Strokes, Nash Bridges, The Simpsons and The Wire. Together with his television writer friend Don Reo he published his semi-fictional autobiography told in third person, Big Man: Real Life & Tall Tales, in 2009. Clemons suffered a stroke on June 12, 2011, and died of complications from it on June 18. Three years following his death, Clemons, along with the rest of the E Street Band, was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Standard Flying 12 Saloon

For those visitors of The Beret project who believe I am [only] Francophile and write about French cars: the Standard Motor Company Limited was a motor vehicle manufacturer, founded in Coventry, England. 
It purchased Triumph in 1945 and in 1959 officially changed its name to Standard-Triumph International and began to put the Triumph brandname on all its products.
For many years it manufactured Ferguson tractors powered by its Vanguard engine. All Standard's tractor assets were sold to Massey-Ferguson as of 31 August 1959.
As of 28 September 1959 Standard Motor Company was re-named Standard-Triumph International Limited. A new subsidiary took the name The Standard Motor Company Limited and took over the manufacture of the group's products. 
The Standard name was last used in Britain in 1963, and in India in 1987.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Antonio Guzmán Capel

Antonio Guzmán Capel (1960) is a Spanish painter. Since 1961 he has resided in the city of Palencia, Spain.
A self-taught artist, from childhood he showed an innate quality for drawing and painting. He made his first exhibition when he was only eleven years old, followed by a yearly exhibition every year. At fourteen years of age, he exhibited his work in Switzerland, where he was regarded by local critics as a genius of painting, because there was no known artist at that time with the ability to perform works such as his, at such an early age.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Portraits of Brigadistas during the Spanish Civil War

A fine Spanish photo library has all these portraits of Brigadistas who fought in the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War. Only their surname was listed, no further information as to date and location. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Joaquín Agrasot y Juan

Joaquín Agrasot y Juan (1836 - 1919) was a Spanish painter of the Realistic style who produced many works in the Costumbrismo genre.
Although he largely devoted himself to Costumbrismo paintings, which were often criticized as being too commercial, his paintings on historical subjects were very popular. 
In 1884, the Spanish government bought his painting "The Death of the Marqués del Duero" for display in the Senate.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Anselmo Guinea y Ugalde

Anselmo Guinea y Ugalde (1854 – 1906) was a Spanish (Basque) painter.
 Born in Bilbao, he began his studies in Madrid, attending the workshop Federico de Madrazo . Upon returning in 1876 to his hometown, he started working at the School of Arts and Crafts, and kept his position until his death.
In 1890 he traveled in the company of Manuel Losada to Paris, attending classes at the Academy Gerveix, where he got in touch with impressionist currents that were strong in the French capital. In Rome he completed his training and, from there, presented works assiduously to the National Exhibition of Fine Arts.
Painter, watercolourist, muralist, Anselmo Guinea was one of the Spanish pioneers of the new styles that were developed abroad. He also highlighted as a painter of stained glass.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Motorbikes and Berets from Bulgaria

The pictures below come from a Bulgarian photo library and it is interesting to see how many motorcyclists wore berets in the early part of last century. The texts below the pictures is all I have, but really, its the actual pictures that are worth looking at.
Sokorov on a 1930’s BMW
Riders from Shumen and Varna, mid 1930’s
Triumph LS, 1925
Unknown location and date, in Bulgaria with a beret wearing mechanic in the background.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Jacques van Meegeren

Following yesterday’s post on Han van Meegeren, this is his son Jacques Henri Emil van Meegeren (1912 –1977). Jacques too,  was a Dutch illustrator and painter.
He is also considered to be a forger of the work of his father Han van Meegeren. He was, however, less gifted and his forgeries adversely affected the reputation of his father’s work.
In 1938, the elder Van Meegeren suggested that Jacques should visit the exhibition of paintings of the Dutch Golden Age in Rotterdam and have a special look at the newly discovered Supper at Emmaus by Vermeer (pictured above). When his father later asked Jacques about the impression the picture had made on him, Jacques’ reaction was remarkable:
”It is a masterpiece of this century, certainly no Vermeer.”
”To whom do you attribute it, then?”
”To you, Dad,” Jacques said. “I can see it from the long and outsized form of the heads. The eyelids are your way of painting (...) the wine glass and the white pitcher are also yours.”
His father did not speak another word and Jacques kept the secret of his father. They did not discuss the matter again until 1945, when the fake came to light.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Han van Meegeren

Henricus Antonius "Han" van Meegeren (1889 –1947) was a Dutch painter and portraitist and is considered to be one of the most ingenious art forgers of the 20th century. 
 As a child, van Meegeren developed an enthusiasm for the paintings of the Dutch Golden Age, and later set out to become an artist himself. Art critics, however, decried his work as tired and derivative, and van Meegeren felt that they had destroyed his career. Thereupon, he decided to prove his talent to the critics by forging paintings of some of the world's most famous artists, including Frans Hals, Pieter de Hooch, Gerard ter Borch, and Johannes Vermeer. He so well replicated the styles and colours of the artists that the best art critics and experts of the time regarded his paintings as genuine and sometimes exquisite.
 During World War II, wealthy Dutchmen wanted to prevent a sellout of Dutch art to Hitler and the Nazi’s, they avidly bought van Meegeren's forgeries, thinking them the work of the masters. Nevertheless, a falsified "Vermeer" ended up in the possession of Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring. Following the war, the forgery was discovered in Göring's possession, and van Meegeren was arrested on 29 May 1945 as a collaborator, as officials believed that he had sold Dutch cultural property to the Nazis. This would have been an act of treason, the punishment for which was death, so van Meegeren confessed to the less serious charge of forgery instead.
 He was convicted on falsification and fraud charges on 12 November 1947, after a brief but highly publicized trial, and was sentenced to a modest punishment of one year in prison. He did not serve out his sentence, however; he died 30 December 1947, in the Valerius Clinic in Amsterdam, after two heart attacks.[4]
It is estimated that van Meegeren duped buyers, including the government of the Netherlands, out of the equivalent of more than thirty million dollars in today's money.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Luis Ortiz Alfau

Luis Ortiz Alfau was 19 and working at a food warehouse when Spain's civil war began in 1936. Today almost 100, Luis is one of the last surviving witnesses of the atrocities of that conflict, from the bombing of the Basque town of Guernica to the forced labour camps.
"I joined a battalion of the Republican Left in the first days of August in Bilbao," he recalls at his flat in his hometown of Bilbao. "As the son of a Republican I had to join because they would surely call me up and I wanted to defend freedom and the legal Popular Front government," adds Luis.
"We would practise with brooms... we didn't have rifles or any war material," says Luis, a 99-year-old widower who lives alone.
Luis refuses to be presented as a brave hero and says he never fired a single shot during the three-year war that began on July 18, the most devastating conflict in Spanish history."I was lucky to be assigned to the transmissions section. I was a living phone. I would go from the battalion command to the trenches with an envelope," he recalls. "The messages would ask for weapons, they would say, 'We can't hold on' or 'We have had many casualties.'" His battalion was resting in a neighbourhood in the Basque town of Guernica on April 26, 1937 when German planes dropped dozens of tonnes of bombs -- an atrocity that shocked the world and was immortalised in Picasso's haunting anti-war painting that year named after the town. "We had to go out and collect the dead and wounded, everything was burning and full of smoke, I had never seen so much blood," he said.
In February 1939, Luis fled to neighbouring France where he experienced the hardships of the camps where Spanish Republicans -- deemed "undesirable" -- were confined. Journalist Ander Izaguirre, who was asked by a Basque government institute to write a biography of Luis, says "what is impressive" about his life story is that he "passed through the most important places of the war and post-war".
When France entered World War II in September 1939 by declaring war against Germany, Luis -- like thousands of other Spaniards -- thought the time was right to return to Spain. But he was arrested at the border and in June 1940 was sent to one of the 121 forced labour camps that were set up by Franco, to punish the losing Republican side.
When he finally returned to Bilbao as a free man in 1943, Luis quickly realised that jobs were reserved for "those who had fought with Franco". He only found work after he bribed a civil servant to eliminate his record as a former Republican fighter.
Luis, who will turn 100 tomorrow, on October 13, says he is "wonderfully happy" and pleased that he has the chance to bear witness in the name of the former "slaves of the Franco regime".