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Kalam Alexander

( Artist)

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Biography Kalam Alexander
Alexander Kalam (1810-1864). For five centuries of brilliant flowering of art in Europe in Switzerland, located in the center of it, between France, Italy, Austria and Germany, always in the shadow of the achievements of first German and later French painting. The Swiss art from the XVIII century is traditionally assumed to specify two lines, which are a provincial branch of the leading European schools. There's even an extreme point of view, which denies altogether the existence of an independent Swiss art. At the beginning of XX century English painter and critic Max Beerbohm wrote about the Swiss: "They have neither an artist nor a musician, only the court, guides, waiters ... This graceful and useless flower of civilization. "
However, the Swiss painting still gave the history of art Konrad Witz, and Urs Graf in the Renaissance, and in the XVIII century portrait painters from the European name of Jean-E. Lio-packaging, A. Graff, A. Kaufman. XIX century brought a revival of artistic life, the expansion of contacts not only with France and Germany, but also from Austria, Britain, Russia. List of known outside the country of Swiss artists replenished in the XIX century the names of Henry Fц╪ssli, Charles Gleyre, Alexandra Kalam, Arnold Bocklin, Ferdinand Hodler.

Creativity And. Kalam is associated with the birth of a new direction in the Swiss landscape painting, with the creation of such romanticized epic alpine landscape. Kalam depicted in his works, the magnificent panorama of mountain ranges ( "Four Seasons", . Geneva, . Museum of History and Art), . harsh and inaccessible peaks ( "Montrose", . 1843, . Neuchatel, . Museum), . impenetrable thickets of the forest ( "We ate in the mountains", . Moscow, . Pushkin Museum named after Pushkin), . picturesque mountain lake ( "Lake of four Cantons", . Geneva, . Museum of History and Art),
. But Kalam opened for painting not only a new tune. He has developed a fundamentally new in comparison with the classical landscape of the XVII century system vidopisaniya. It was her artist owed his hands-European glory, however, quite brief. Picturesque landscapes Kalam was of the system compromise corresponding to the transitional period in European painting of the mid XIX century. Artworks Kalam combined the romantic motif of natural, not ennobled human nature and the "picture", the effect of painting from nature and build on the "laws of art."

. Alexander Kalam was born in the small town of Vevey on Lake Geneva in the family of a poor stonemason
. After the death of his father, he moved to Geneva, where he first taught the family trade, and in 1830 he entered the studio of famous painter Francois Dide. Strictly speaking, it Dide was the first in the art of Swiss painter of romantic and pathetic alpine landscapes. But only with the advent of Kalama this type of landscape found the form which led to talk about "the alpine landscape school". Kalam quickly surpassed his teacher, took his place at the head of Geneva's art school and already in 1837, made in Hamburg with the picture "Forest near Avranches, which launched his meteoric rise to fame.

. European recognition came to Kalam after the exhibition in 1839 at the Paris Salon was a painting show "Thunderstorm on Handeke" (Geneva, Museum of History and Art)
. She made a sensation, hitting the imagination of the French spectators majestic pathos depicted unruly elements and impeccable compositional skill. French traveler, who saw this picture ten years later, now in Geneva, to pass on their experience in glowing praise Kalam and alpine landscape: "Kalam nurtured his genius as the contemplation of grandiose nature. His talent, stern and austere, is inspired by feelings rather than art. What a magnificent confusion! So you hear the wind howls in these deep gorges, storm clouds hovering above the ground, and below guessed dark head giant who seemed to have caused all this storm ". "Thunderstorm on Handeke" became the banner of "school of Kalam, a model of a series of alpine species, which over a quarter-century artist provided Europe.

. The success of landscapes Kalam was in recognition of parts, in a realistic reliability features a particular locality
. Rejecting the classical attributes of the landscape: the ruins, mythological characters, even, bright sunlight - Kalam designed to replace your own recipes to create a universal concept of scenic. He combined in a picture of different types of corners, resulting in a certain medium "artificial" landscape ( "Mountain Landscape", Paris, Louvre). Nevertheless, those composed of fragments of full-scale landscapes with their purely theatrical solemnity and conditional color perspective, . built on a gradual razbelivanii tone when the image distances, . maintain the illusion of genuine, . "wild and untamed" nature,
. This illusion was achieved thanks to the fact that Kalam with the same skill built "intrigue" of his works. Game of contrasts of light gave the dramatic tension in the studio composed mind, gave it the breath of life.

. Kalam had a reputation as "the creator of the alpine painting, the greatest of the Swiss landscape painter and one of the best European artists of the century"
. He has repeatedly won awards at international exhibitions in 1842 was promoted to the Holders of the Legion d'Honneur, was elected a member of the St. Petersburg and Brussels Academies. The artist traveled to Germany and the Netherlands (1839), England (1840), France (1842), Italy (1845). He studied the work of the Dutch landscape painters of the XVII century, N. Poussin and Lorrain, K., acquainted with the modern English landscape school, with experience barbizontsev France. But he remained faithful to his system of synthetic landscape, transforming according to its laws full-scale sketches of various countries and localities. The acuteness of vision, accuracy of design, taste and technical perfection Kalam appeared more in his etchings and lithographs, where he was not so strongly linked tyrannical will of the developed type of picture.

. In the 50 years of XIX century the influence of Kalama is widespread, in almost every European country were his followers
. In Russia, for example, "school Kalam" belonged to a generation of landscape painters, among them such well-known artists of his time as a. I. Meshchersky In. D. Orlovsky, P. A. Soukhodolski. European "kalamisty" very successfully applied techniques Swiss artist for the image of its national nature.

In 1863 the famous painter went for treatment in Mentone, where he died the next year from tuberculosis. In 1865 at the posthumous sale of paintings by Kalam in Paris, where he remained mostly small preparatory studies and sketches, the total revenue from the auction was a fantastic sum for those times of 180 francs. But a decade later, likening Kalam became a synonym for art criticism censure, and the once famous landscape paintings looked contrived and conditioned on the background of further development of European landscape painting.

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