On this Date in History, April 15: Rosalba Carriera, Leonardo and Impressionism

On this date in History: April 15

In the United States April 15th is synonymous with tax day, but in art history there were several other important occurrences on this day.


Rosalba Carriera (Jan 12 ,1673– April 15, 1757) was a Venetian Rococo portrait painter known for her pastels.  She was a very successful artist in the Rococo era who was highly sought after for her portraits by members of European royalty.  Rosalba enjoyed a long career as an artist.  She died at the age of 84, 259 years ago on this day.



Carriera, Felicita Sartori in a Turkish Costume, Uffizi Gallery, circa 1728-1741, pastel on canvas

Also on this date 564 years ago- Leonardo da Vinci  (April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519), was born in the small town of Vinci in Florence (hence his name). 

Leonardo is one of the most famous Renaissance artists in the world, he was a painter and inventor and filled many notebooks with his observations, anatomy drawings and proposed inventions with notes written backwards.  Leonardo's painting of the Mona Lisa is perhaps the most well known art work in the world.

The Virgin of the Rocks, Leonardo da Vinci 1483, Louvre

April 15th also marks the introduction for French Impressionism.


The first exhibition of French Impressionists exhibition opened on April 15, 1874.  Thirty painters including Claude Monet, Renoir, Degas, Pissarro and Berthe Morisot were included.
 
The exhibit was held in the photographer Nadar's studio in Paris. The group of artist’s didn’t start out calling themselves ‘Impressionists’ but the art critic Louis Leroy coined the term taken from the title of Monet’s painting Impression, Sunrise. While this was meant in a derogatory way, the artist’s in the show liked it and in later group exhibits collectively referred to themselves as the ‘Impressionists.’


Claude Monet, Impression, Sunrise, 1873, Musee Marmottan, Paris



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