Born in San Francisco, Edward Cucuel began formal art training at the San Francisco School of Design in 1914. His father was a newspaper publisher, and as a teenager Cucuel worked as an illustrator for several local newspapers. In 1892 he traveled to Paris, where he studied at the Académies Julian and Colarossi before being admitted to the prestigious Ecole des Beaux-Arts to study with academician Jean Léon Gérôme.
When Cucuel returned to the United States in 1896, he settled in New York and earned enough through his work as an illustrator to return to Europe. After several years of travel, he settled in Berlin. In 1907 he moved his studio to Munich. There, he joined the Scholle group of artists led by Leo Putz and took part in the exhibitions of the Munich Secession. What the Scholle artists shared more than any single aesthetic was a desire to develop their own styles independently. Cucuel married Clara Lotte von Marcard in 1913, and they spent their summers in a villa on Lake Ammersee outside Munich.
Although the heyday of Impressionism had already passed in Europe, Cucuel developed his own vibrant Impressionist style during a period of working closely with Leo Putz. For several summers before Cucuel’s marriage, the two artists worked side-by-side in a garden at Hartmannsdorf Castle in Chiemgau, west of Munich. There, Cucuel began to paint with the highly keyed color and rich brushwork for which he is best known. Sunny genre scenes of leisure—boating, afternoon tea, sleeping, reading—in landscape settings dominate his work, but nudes and women in interiors settings are also common motifs. Cucuel often painted family members rather than professional models.
From 1928 to 1934, Cucuel spent winters in New York, but returned to Germany during the summer months. When World War Two broke out, Cucuel left Germany permanently and settled in Pasadena, California, where he lived a secluded life until his death in 1954. A member of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Cucuel exhibited at the Salon d’Automne in Paris and at numerous other venues in Germany, England, and the United States.
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Richard E. Miller (March 22, 1875 - 1943) was a major American Impressionist painter and a member of the famous Giverny Colony of American Impressionists. Miller was primarily a figurative painter, known for his paintings of women posing languidly in interiors or outdoor settings. He is best described as a Decorative Impressionist. The term Decorative Impressionism was coined in 1911 by the art writer Christian Brinton to describe the work of Miller’s friend and Givery colleague Frederick Friseke, but it accurately describes the art of several members of the Giverny colony. Miller grew up in St. Louis, studied in Paris, and then settled in Giverny. Upon his return to America, he settled briefly in Pasadena, California and then in the art colony of Provincetown, Massachusetts, where he remained for the rest of his life. Miller was a member of the National Academy of Design in New York and an award winning painter in his era, honored in both France and Italy, and a winner of France’s Legion of Honor. Over the past several decades, he has been the subject of a retrospective exhibition and his work has been reproduced extensively in exhibition catalogs and featured in a number of books on American Impressionism.
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Carl Spitzweg (February 5, 1808 - September 23, 1885) was a German romanticist painter and poet. He is considered to be one of the most important artists of the Biedermeier era.
He was born in Unterpfaffenhofen as the second of three sons of Franziska and Simon Spitzweg. His father, a wealthy merchant, had Carl trained as a pharmacist. He attained his qualification from the University of Munich, but while recovering from an illness he also took up painting. Spitzweg was self-taught as an artist, and began by copying the works of Flemish masters. He contributed his first work to satiric magazines. Upon receiving an inheritance in 1833, he was able to dedicate himself to painting.
Later, Spitzweg visited European art centers, studying the works of various artists and refining his technique and style; he visited Prague, Venice, Paris, London, and Belgium. His later paintings and drawings are often humorous genre works. Many of his paintings depict sharply characterized eccentrics, for example The Bookworm (1850) and The Hypochondriac (c. 1865, in the Neue Pinakothek, Munich).
His paintings inspired the musical comedy Das kleine Hofkonzert by Edmund Nick. He is buried in the Alter Südfriedhof in Munich.
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Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin (2 November 1699 - 6 December 1779) was an 18th-century French painter. He is considered a master of still life, and is also noted for his genre paintings which depict kitchen maids, children, and domestic activities. Carefully balanced composition, soft diffusion of light, and granular impasto characterize his work.
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