Your clues this week are:
- The artist was born to a Czech father in a large, Eastern European city during the 31 years that it existed as a city-state, sandwiched between two bouts of belonging to duchies.
- The beginnings of Modernism occurred during the artist's lifetime, a happening he seems to have ignored completely. In fact, our painter clung to history painting so tightly he singlehandedly brought it back into fashion as an art teacher.
- Considered a patriot and national treasure in his homeland, the artist's works were among those -- precious, and too few -- hidden from plunder during WWII. Considering that there was very little time to hide anything before this particular country was invaded, we clearly see the esteem in which our artist was held.
- The subject of this Romantic painting died in 1138. He is remembered for numerous reasons, but two are outstanding. (1) His last will and testament was an edict that his offspring promptly ignored upon his death. Unfortunately, nothing as trivial as sisters-in-law making a mad dash for the family silver was the result. Instead, an entire country became divided for the next 200 years. And (2), he had his older step-brother blinded. Not with your standard red-hot poker, either. With special pliers that, unless the blindee could control blinking, tore off both eyelids as they yanked out the eyeball. Who was this person?
Last Week's Answer:
I tried to paint a picture (ha! ... see what I did there?) with the clues, hoping everyone would immediately say, "Oh, she's writing about Vilhelm Hammersh°i, the Danish artist who lived from 1864 to 1916. And, yes, the light does slant that way in Copenhagen." We were looking at his 1901 Interior with Piano and Woman in Black. By the way, "Woman" was his wife, Ida, the sister of his lifelong male friend, business partner and colleague Peter Ilsted. (Why Vilhelm almost always showed Ida's back is a mystery to me.) Jacobiene in The Netherlands knew the correct answer about one minute before Alison in Zimbabwe, so congratulations to both of you Early Birds. No, wait. You're not early. There are such things as time zones ... anyhow, thank you Jacobiene, Alison and all who participated!