GREAT ART - Modern History Painting

'Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II - 2012'
Ralph Heimans

Peter Crawford - (1946-)

© Peter Crawford 2011

Peter Crawford - (1946-)

© Peter Crawford 2011

'Winter Wonderland'
Peter Crawford - (1946-)

© Peter Crawford 2011

Peter Crawford - (1946-)

© copyright Peter Crawford 2011

'Solemn the drums thrill; Death, august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation,
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

But where our desires are - and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.'


Peter Miller

Peter Miller

Paul Nash

Adrian C Rigby

Barrie A F Clark

Lancaster Bombers

Liu Chunhua

Mao Zedong,  commonly referred to as Chairman Mao (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976), was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution.
He was the architect and founding father of the People's Republic of China (PRC) from its establishment in 1949, and held control over the nation until his death in 1976.
His theoretical contribution to Marxism–Leninism, along with his military strategies and brand of policies, are collectively known as Maoism.

Salvador Dali

This work is an ambitious homage to Dali's Spain.
It combines Spanish history, religion, art, and myth into a unified whole.
It was commissioned for Huntington Hartford for the opening of his Museum Gallery of Modern Art on Columbus Circle (hence the mention in the Title) in New York.
At this time, some Catalan historians were claiming that Columbus was actually from Catalonia, not Italy, making the discovery all the more relevant for Dali, who was also from this region of Spain.
The eponymous painting deals with Christopher Columbus's first landing in the New World; it depicts the event metaphorically rather than aiming at historical accuracy.
Columbus is depicted not as a middle-aged mariner, but as an adolescent boy in a classical robe to symbolize America as a young continent with its best years ahead of it.
Dalí, in a period of intense interest in Roman Catholic mysticism at the time, symbolically portrayed Columbus bringing Christianity and the true church to a new world as a great and holy accomplishment.
Gala Dalí, the painter's wife, whom he often depicted as the Virgin Mary, poses the for role of The Blessed Virgin (or according to some commentators Saint Helena) on the banner in the right hand of Columbus. She appears as a Saint, suggesting that she is Dali's muse and that she is responsible for his own, "Discovery of America".
Dalí painted himself in the background as a kneeling monk holding a crucifix.
Dalí's belief that Columbus was Catalonian is represented by the incorporation of the old Catalonian flag.
The painting contains numerous references to the works of Diego Velázquez, specifically The Surrender of Breda, a Spanish painter who had died 300 years earlier, and who influenced both Dalí's painting and his moustache.
Dali borrows the spears from that painting and places them on the right hand side of his work. Within these spears, Dali has painted the image of a crucified Christ, which was based on a drawing by the Spanish mystic, St. John.
The flies and the bishop on the bottom left is in reference to a Catalan folk legend (from Girona) about St. Narciso's crypt.
Dali uses this myth to underline his patriotic devotion to his homeland's independence.


Salvador Dali

Tetouan was taken on 4 February 1860 by the Spaniards under Leopoldo O'Donnell, (a descendant of an old Irish royal family, O'Donnell of Tyrconnell, who was made hereditary Duke of Tetuan, and later Prime Minister of Spain; the Dukedom is currently held by his descendant S.E. Don Hugo O'Donnell, Duke of Tetuan, Grandee of Spain and Count of Lucena) and almost transformed by them into a European city before its evacuation on 2 May 1862, but so hateful were the changes to the Moors that they completely destroyed all vestiges of alteration and reduced the city to its former state.

'The Burial of the Unknown Warrior - 11 November 1920'
Francis O Salisbury

for more information see below

'The Passing of the Unknown Warrior - 11 November 1920'
Francis O Salisbury

Francis ("Frank") Owen Salisbury (18 December 1874 – 31 August 1962) was an English artist who specialised in portraits, large canvases of historical and ceremonial events, stained glass and book illustration.
In his day he made a fortune on both sides of the Atlantic and was known as “Britain’s Painter Laureate”.
His art was steadfastly conservative, and he was a vitriolic critic of Modern Art – particularly of his contemporaries Picasso, Chagall and Mondrian.
He then won a scholarship to the Royal Academy Schools which he attended for five years, and where he won two silver medals and two scholarships, including the 'Landseer Scholarship' which funded his to travel to Italy in 1896.
In due course he would have seventy exhibits accepted for the annual Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions, from 1899 until 1943.
Twenty-five members of the Royal House of Windsor sat for Salisbury and he was the first artist to paint HM Queen Elizabeth II.
Salisbury’s great forte was in his painting of over forty large canvases of historical and national events, a field in which he was virtually unchallenged until 1951.
The two most significant of these are The Heart of Empire – the Jubilee Thanksgiving in St Paul's Cathedral 1935 and The Coronation of their Royal Majesties King George VI and Queen Elizabeth 1937.

It was Salisbury who was required, by Royal Command, to paint two large images of 'The Burial of the Unknown Warrior' for the first Remembrance Day.

'Allegorie della Storia d'Italia' - Hall of the House of Deputies
Giulio Aristide Sartorio

'Allegorie della Storia d'Italia' - Hall of the House of Deputies
Giulio Aristide Sartorio

'Allegorie della Storia d'Italia' - Hall of the House of Deputies
Giulio Aristide Sartorio

'Allegorie della Storia d'Italia' - Hall of the House of Deputies
Giulio Aristide Sartorio

'Allegorie della Storia d'Italia' - Hall of the House of Deputies
Giulio Aristide Sartorio

'Allegorie della Storia d'Italia' - Hall of the House of Deputies
Giulio Aristide Sartorio

'Allegorie della Storia d'Italia' - Hall of the House of Deputies
Giulio Aristide Sartorio

'Allegorie della Storia d'Italia' - Hall of the House of Deputies
Giulio Aristide Sartorio

'Allegorie della Storia d'Italia' - Hall of the House of Deputies
Giulio Aristide Sartorio

'Allegorie della Storia d'Italia' - 'Festival' -  1908 and 1912 - Hall of the House of Deputies

Giulio Aristide Sartorio

'Diana of Ephes and the Slaves'
Giulio Aristide Sartorio

Giulio Aristide Sartorio (February 11, 1860 - October 3, 1932) was an Italian painter.
Having attended the Rome Institute of Fine Arts, Sartorio presented a Symbolist work at the Esposizione Internazionale di Roma of 1883.
He formed friendships with Nino Costa and Gabriele D’Annunzio and associated with the painters and photographers of the Roman countryside.
He won a gold medal at the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1889 and met the Pre-Raphaelites in England in 1893.
His participation in the Venice Biennale began in 1895 with the 1st Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte di Venezia, after which he taught at the Weimar Academy of Fine Arts from 1896 to 1898.
His period of greatest renown came at the beginning of the century, when he produced decorative friezes for the 5th Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte di Venezia (1903), the Mostra Nazionale di Belle Arti (Milan, Parco Sempione, 1906) and Palazzo Montecitorio in Rome (1908–12).
Wounded during World War I, he travelled extensively in the Middle East, Japan and Latin America during the 1920s and became a member of the Italian Royal Academy.
His most famous works are: 'Diana of Ephesus and the Slaves', 'Gorgon and the Heroes' (1895–99) and a frieze in the 'Palazzo Montecitorio'.
He also collaborated with Gabriele D'Annunzio in a magazine entitled 'The Banquet' (1895–98).

Николай II, Николай Александрович Романов
Valentin Serov

Nicholas II - (Nikolay Alexandrovich Romanov - 18 May [O.S. 6 May] 1868 – 17 July 1918) was the last Emperor of Russia, Grand Prince of Finland, and titular King of Poland.
His official short title was Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias and he is known as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer by the Russian Orthodox Church.
Nicholas II ruled from 1894 until his abdication on 15 March 1917.
His reign saw Imperial Russia go from being one of the foremost great powers of the world to economic and military collapse.
Under his rule, Russia was defeated in the Russo-Japanese War, including the almost total annihilation of the Russian fleet at the Battle of Tsushima.
As head of state, he approved the Russian mobilization of August 1914, which marked the beginning of Russia's involvement in World War I, a war in which 3.3 million Russians were killed.
The unpopularity of Russian involvement in this war is often cited as a leading cause of the fall of the Romanov dynasty less than three years later.
Nicholas II abdicated following the February Revolution of 1917 during which he and his family were imprisoned first in the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo, then later in the Governor's Mansion in Tobolsk, and finally at the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg.
Nicholas II, his wife, his son, his four daughters, the family's medical doctor, the Tsar's valet, the Empress' lady-in-waiting, and the family's cook were killed in the same room by the Bolsheviks on the night of 16/17 July 1918.
This led to the canonization of Nicholas II, his wife the Empress Alexandra and their children as martyrs by various groups tied to the Russian Orthodox Church within Russia and, prominently, outside Russia.

'Slav Epic' - 'Slovanská Epopej'

Alfons Maria Mucha

'The Slav Epic' is a cycle of 20 large canvases painted by Czech Art Nouveau painter Alfons Mucha between 1910 and 1928.
The cycle depicts the history of Czechs and other Slavic peoples.
In 1928, after finishing his monumental work, Mucha bestowed the cycle to the city of Prague on condition that the city built a special pavilion for it.
As of 2010, the work was a part of the permanent exhibition at the chateau in the town of Moravský Krumlov in the South Moravian Region of the Czech Republic.
As of July 2012, all 20 works are displayed together on the ground floor of the Veletržní Palace, in an exhibition organized by the City Gallery of Prague.

Alfons Maria Mucha (24 July 1860 – 14 July 1939), known in English and French as Alphonse Mucha, was a Czech Art Nouveau painter and decorative artist, known best for his distinct style. He produced many paintings, illustrations, advertisements, postcards.
At the time of his death, Mucha's style was considered outdated.
His son, author Jiří Mucha, devoted much of his life to writing about him and bringing attention to his art.
In his own country, the new authorities were not interested in Mucha.
His 'Slav Epic' was rolled and stored for twenty-five years before being shown in Moravsky Krumlov, and a Mucha museum opened in Prague, managed by his grandson John Mucha.
Mucha's work has continued to experience periodic revivals of interest for illustrators and artists. Interest in Mucha's distinctive style experienced a strong revival during the 1960s (with a general interest in Art Nouveau).

Robert Burnes

The Holy Grail is a sacred object figuring in literature and certain Christian traditions, most often identified with the dish, plate, or cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper and said to possess miraculous powers.
The connection of Joseph of Arimathea with the Grail legend dates from Robert de Boron's Joseph d'Arimathie (late 12th century) in which Joseph receives the Grail from an apparition of Jesus and sends it with his followers to Great Britain; building upon this theme, later writers recounted how Joseph used the Grail to catch Christ's blood while interring him and that in Britain he founded a line of guardians to keep it safe.
The quest for the Holy Grail makes up an important segment of the Arthurian cycle, appearing first in works by Chrétien de Troyes.
The legend may combine Christian lore with a Celtic myth of a cauldron endowed with special powers.
The Grail legend's development has been traced in detail by cultural historians: It is a legend which first came together in the form of written romances, deriving perhaps from some pre-Christian folklore hints, in the later 12th and early 13th centuries.
The early Grail romances centred on Percival and were woven into the more general Arthurian fabric. Some of the Grail legend is interwoven with legends of the Holy Chalice.

Frederick Judd Waugh

Arthur John Duncan

King Arthur is a legendary British leader of the late 5th and early 6th centuries, who, according to Medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early 6th century.
The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and his historical existence is debated and disputed by modern historians.
The sparse historical background of Arthur is gleaned from various sources, including the Annales Cambriae, the Historia Brittonum, and the writings of Gildas.
Arthur's name also occurs in early poetic sources such as Y Gododdin.
At the Battle of Camlann Arthur charges Mordred and impales him with a spear, but with the last of his strength, Mordred impales himself even further, so as to come within striking distance of King Arthur, then gives a blow to Arthur’s head.
As he lies wounded, Arthur commands Bedivere to cast Excalibur into the lake, where it is retrieved by the hand of the Lady of the Lake.
A barge appears, carrying ladies in black hoods (one being Morgan le Fay), who take Arthur to Avalon.
Avalon is a legendary island featured in the Arthurian legend.
It first appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's account 'Historia Regum Britanniae' ("The History of the Kings of Britain") as the place where King Arthur's magical sword Excalibur was forged, and later where Arthur was taken to recover from his wounds after the Battle of Camlann.
Legend recounted that at some later time Arthur would return from Avalon to rule England once again - hence 'Arthurus, rex quondam, rexque futurus' - 'Arthur - the once and future King'

Marianne Stokes

The Raft of the Medusa
Théodore Géricault

The Raft of the Medusa is an oil painting of 1818–1819 by the French Romantic painter and lithographer Théodore Géricault (1791–1824).
Completed when the artist was 27, the work has become an icon of French Romanticism.
At 491 cm × 716 cm (193.3 in × 282.3 in), it is an over-life-size painting that depicts a moment from the aftermath of the wreck of the French naval frigate Méduse, which ran aground off the coast of today's Mauritania on July 5, 1816.
At least 147 people were set adrift on a hurriedly constructed raft; all but 15 died in the 13 days before their rescue, and those who survived endured starvation, dehydration, cannibalism and madness.
The event became an international scandal, in part because its cause was widely attributed to the incompetence of the French captain perceived to be acting under the authority of the recently restored French monarchy.
Before Géricault began work on the final painting, he undertook extensive research and produced many preparatory sketches.
He interviewed two of the survivors, and constructed a detailed scale model of the raft. His efforts took him to morgues and hospitals where he could view, first-hand, the colour and texture of the flesh of the dying and dead.
The painting proved highly controversial at its first appearance in the 1819 Paris Salon, attracting passionate praise and condemnation in equal measure. However, it established his international reputation, and today is widely seen as seminal in the early history of the Romantic movement in French painting.
Although The Raft of the Medusa retains elements of the traditions of history painting, in both its choice of subject matter and its dramatic presentation, it represents a break from the calm and order of the then-prevailing Neoclassical school.

Anne-Louis Girodet, 1805

Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson (also given as Anne-Louis Girodet de Roucy-Triosson, Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson) January 5, 1767 – December 9, 1824), was a French painter and pupil of Jacques-Louis David, who was part of the beginning of the Romantic movement by adding elements of eroticism through his paintings.
Girodet is remembered for his precise and clear style and for his paintings of members of the Napoleonic family.

Ossian is the narrator and supposed author of a cycle of poems which the Scottish poet James Macpherson claimed to have translated from ancient sources in the Scots Gaelic.
He is based on Oisín, son of Finn or Fionn mac Cumhaill, anglicised to Finn McCool, a character from Irish mythology.
Although the poems were well-received, many critics voiced concerns about their authenticity, a debate that continued into the 20th century.

Jacques-Louis David

Jacques-Louis David (30 August 1748 – 29 December 1825) was an influential French painter in the Neoclassical style, considered to be the pre-eminent painter of the era.
In the 1780s his cerebral brand of history painting marked a change in taste away from Rococo frivolity toward a classical austerity and severity, heightened feeling chiming with the moral climate of the final years of the Ancien Régime.
David later became an active supporter of the French Revolution and friend of Maximilien Robespierre (1758–1794), and was effectively a dictator of the arts under the French Republic. Imprisoned after Robespierre's fall from power, he aligned himself with yet another political regime upon his release, that of Napoleon I.
It was at this time that he developed his Empire style, notable for its use of warm Venetian colours.
David had a huge number of pupils, making him the strongest influence in French art of the early 19th century, especially academic Salon painting.

Napoleon Bonaparte[1] (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.
As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815.
His legal reform, the Napoleonic Code, has been a major influence on many civil law jurisdictions worldwide, but he is best remembered for his role in the wars led against France by a series of coalitions, the so-called Napoleonic Wars.
He established hegemony over most of continental Europe and sought to spread the ideals of the French Revolution, while consolidating an imperial monarchy which restored aspects of the deposed ancien régime.
Due to his success in these wars, often against numerically superior enemies, he is generally regarded as one of the greatest military commanders of all time.

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres 29 August 1780 – 14 January 1867) was a French Neoclassical painter. Although he considered himself to be a painter of history in the tradition of Nicolas Poussin and Jacques-Louis David, by the end of his life it was Ingres's portraits, both painted and drawn, that were recognized as his greatest legacy.
A man profoundly respectful of the past, he assumed the role of a guardian of academic orthodoxy against the ascendant Romantic style represented by his nemesis Eugène Delacroix. His exemplars, he once explained, were "the great masters which flourished in that century of glorious memory when Raphael set the eternal and incontestable bounds of the sublime in art ... I am thus a conservator of good doctrine, and not an innovator."[1] Nevertheless, modern opinion has tended to regard Ingres and the other Neoclassicists of his era as embodying the Romantic spirit of his time.

Marie-Victoire Jaquotot

Manifattura di Sevres - Ceramic Plaque

Jacques-Louis David

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