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Victor Brauner From Toronto

Victor (sometimes spelled Viktor) Brauner was born in Romania into a Jewish family. He spent his early years in Austria and then went to the National School of Fine Arts in Bucharest, Romania. (Bucharest is often referred to as Little city.) Brauner received a number of accolades while attending school and then made his first trip to city in 1925, returning in 1927. It was in city where he matured and developed his personal vision. Although he returned to Romania, he fled back to city when the Nazis invaded in 1938. He then fled city in 1940, when the Nazis invaded France. He spent much of World War II in the Pyrenees and southern France. Interestingly, in the mid 1930s many of Brauner’s paintings featured people with enormous eyes, and then in 1938 he lost one of his eyes in a fight while trying to defend a friend. Thematically, Brauner’s sculptures and paintings often focus on duality. Tenderness and pessimism Criticism and acceptance. Many of Brauner’s works make use of elongated heads as well as duality. Appropriately, his gravestone at Montmartre is inset with a mirror-image sculpture titled Signe. The base of the slab covering the vault is etched with his name, the name of his wife, Jacqueline Brauner (1910-1985), and a quote from one of his notebooks: Peindre, c ‘est la vie, la vraie vie, MA VIE (Painting is life, the real life, MY LIFE).

In 1756, West came to the attention of the Reverend William Smith, the first provost of the College of Philadelphia, which later became the University of Pennsylvania. Toronto Metro Map From Smith, he learned as much of the classics as a painter needed at this time. Although known as a history painter, West began his career by painting portraits. The portraits of the Morris children, dating from about 1752, are his earliest. The work of Pennsylvania-born neoclassical artist Benjamin West created a sensation throughout Europe when he visited in the 1760s. He later served as historical painter to Britain’s King George III and became president of the Royal Academy. (Brown Brothers, Sterling, Pennsylvania) His earliest historical painting and the only extant one from the colonial period is The Death of Socrates (c. 1756), which West painted at the age of 18. This painting was commissioned by inventor and gunsmith William Henry, who had read the story of Socrates’ death to West. The painting has been described as na¯ve, awkward and provincial, but it did demonstrate West’s potential.

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