Monday, March 28, 2011

!00 paintings a painter should know, head loss edition

53) The execution of Lady Jane Grey by (Paul) Hippolyte Delaroche 1797-1856

I warned you I am presenting my own and somewhat arbitrary list of the great painters and painting. This post is about one such. I intend to spend far more time on academic painting as is commonly done, but I think this sort of painting has a growing influence on young painters of the realist or traditional bent today.

A wealthy young Parisian and friend of Delacroix, Delaroche was a student of historical painter Antoine-Jean Gros. Gros was a student of David and had a great number of pupils. He painted the Execution picture in 1833
Lady Jane Grey was proclaimed Queen of England in 1553 and deposed nine days later. She was beheaded at age 16 a year later by Mary Tudor who ascended to the throne.
This painting was thought destroyed by a flood at the Tate gallery in 1928 but was discovered rolled up in a storeroom in 1973 in near perfect condition. It was moved to the National Gallery.


Deb said...

OMG.. and we think today's politics are cutthroat (no pun intended)
That is one huge ax.
Amazing painting though. It would be interesting to know how long something like this took to paint.
I guess there weren't many "painting a day" folks back then.

Jesse Hamm said...

Great piece.

Funny that she's kneeling on a big fancy pillow. I suspect this was more a matter of the model's comfort than of historical accuracy.

Brady said...

I love this painting.

I love the way her hands are reaching forward searching for the block where she will lose her head. And that the priest looking dude looks like he is talking her into going peacefully, or with dignity, and possibly comforting her with thought of the next life.

I also like how the axeman looks on businesslike waiting for the moment to pass so he can get on with his job. And that he holds up one end of the concave line that joins him to the the two ladies in waiting in the back who are distraught or fainting. (At least I think they are ladies in waiting.)

billspaintingmn said...

I saw this massive painting a few years back. It was on tour with a group of paintings.
It took up one large wall, and reminded me of the movie screen at
the theater on main street.
It had all the drama of a theater act too!
The golden straw was pristine, and all I could think was it was about to get sprayed with blood! You could feel the preasence of the people, and the moment it had portrade.
It evoked the murmurings of the gentleman assisting her, and the women weeping in the back ground.
Even the ax man had a sence of sadness. It was a gasping painting.

billspaintingmn said...
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Philip Koch said...

Those British monarchs were quite a bunch! Imagine what they could do with predator drones.

jeff said...

This is from Wikipedia:

According to the account of her execution given in the anonymous Chronicle of Queen Jane and of Two Years of Queen Mary, which formed the basis for Raphael Holinshed's depiction, Jane gave a speech upon ascending the scaffold:

Good people, I am come hither to die, and by a law I am condemned to the same. The fact, indeed, against the Queen's highness was unlawful, and the consenting thereunto by me: but touching the procurement and desire thereof by me or on my behalf, I do wash my hands thereof in innocency, before God, and the face of you, good Christian people, this day.

She then recited Psalm 51 (Have mercy upon me, O God) in English,[24] and handed her gloves and handkerchief to her maid. John Feckenham, a Roman Catholic chaplain sent by Mary who had failed to convert Jane, stayed with her during the execution. The executioner asked her forgiveness, and she gave it. She pleaded the axeman, "I pray you dispatch me quickly". Referring to her head, she asked, "Will you take it off before I lay me down?" and the axeman answered, "No, madam". She then blindfolded herself. Jane had resolved to go to her death with dignity, but once blindfolded, failing to find the block with her hands, began to panic and cried, "What shall I do? Where is it?" An unknown hand, possibly Sir Thomas Brydges', then helped her find her way and retain her dignity at the end. With her head on the block, Jane spoke the last words of Jesus as recounted by Luke: "Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit!" She was then beheaded.

clarkola said...

My, how painting has radically as has our language has.."I am come hither to die"
Now we would turn such a moment into a blockbuster-stored on a thin little disk.

clarkola said...

My, how painting has radically as has our language has.."I am come hither to die"
Nowadays we would turn such a moment into a blockbuster-store it on a thin little disk that takes up no wall space at all.

Lefteris C said...

Never seen this painting before. This non-conventional approach to art history is very interesting.

Richard J. Luschek II said...

Can you imagine being the person that first unrolled that painting in 1973? "Hmm, I wonder what this is?"

Stapleton Kearns said...

The painting a day thing had not yet begun. A painting like this might take a year or more to make.

Stapleton Kearns said...

The painting is not very accurate historically.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Every thing in the picture carries thew story and each figure brings their own emotion into the tableau.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I don't remember seeing it, but I was in the National gallery years ago. I think I would have remembered it.

Stapleton Kearns said...

They would drone on and on.

Stapleton Kearns said...

She was eloquent and still ended up on the block.

Stapleton Kearns said...

The painting is a movie on a canvas.

Stapleton Kearns said...

It is not in the best known art books. A lot I intend to show next, is not.

Stapleton Kearns said...

The painting is huge, it must have been a big surprise.