November 25 – Happy Birthday, Albert Henry Krehbiel

Posted on November 25, 2016

Did you know that there is a group that was established to decide what was good art, what was bad art, and even what was dangerous art?

What art historians call the French Academy was founded in 1648 as the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. It was joined with the Music and Architecture Academies in the late 1700s to form the French Academy of Fine Arts.

The sort of standards set by the academy were supposed to protect French culture from “corruption” – and all I can say to that is “yikes!”
Krehbiel's self-portrait

Now, why am I talking about the French Academy on a post about an American artist born in Denmark?

First, let's get one thing straight – Albert Henry Krehbiel was born in the city / town of Denmark, in Iowa, United States! (Hence calling him an American.)

Second, Krehbiel was educated as a realist painter in Paris and became the most decorated American painter ever at the French Academy! He won the Prix De Rome, four Gold Medals, and five cash prizes.!

Born on this date in 1873, Krehbiel's art went from realism to impressionism to modernism / synchromism. Let's look at what these terms mean:

REALISM – an art movement that attempts to represent people, places, and things attempt to paint what is real. It was a revolt against magical and miraculous subject matter and against emotional exaggerations.

Here is an example of Krehbiel's realist paintings:

IMPRESSIONISM – an art movement that attempts to depict an impression of the moment – to capture a feeling or an experience. It is characterized by relatively small, thin, visible brush strokes or even dots of paint. Rather than accurately reproducing a person, place, or thing, impressionism seeks to accurately depict changing qualities of light.

Here are a few examples of Krehbiel's impressionist paintings:

MODERNISM – an art movement that for the most part ignored art traditions in an effort to explore new ways of seeing. Modern art tends to be experimental, with fresh ideas about materials and subject matter, with new answers to the age-old question “What is art?”

Most modern art is abstract or at least toying with abstraction.

Here are some modern art pieces that are NOT by Krehbiel:

SYNCHROMISM – this modern art movement related color to music. This movement was the first abstract paintings in American art.

Here are some examples of Krehbiel's synchromism:

Also on this date:

St. Catherine's Day

Independence Day in Suriname

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