On this Date in History, October 4: Birth of Cranach, Piranesi, Millet and Remington

What happened on this date in art history?  

Interior of the Pantheon (commonly called the Rotunda)
from Vedute di Roma (Views of Rome), Giovanni Battista Piranesi, 1768

October 4 is the birthday of four different artists from the 16th to the 19th century: Lucas Cranach the Younger, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Jean-François Millet and Frederic Remington.


Portrait of the Artist's Father, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Lucas Cranach the Younger, 1550


Lucas Cranach the Younger (October 4, 1515 – January 25, 1586) was a German artist, whose father was the well known and prolific Lucas Cranach the Elder (pictured above in a portrait by his son).  Cranach the Younger trained with his father and was a successful artist in his own right, producing dozens of paintings and woodcuts.  He found success with secular themes right after the Protestant Reformation.


The Gothic Arch, Etching from the series: The Imaginary Prisons, c-1750

Giovanni Battista Piranesi (October 4, 1720 – November 9, 1778) was an Italian artist best known for his hundreds of etchings including views of Rome, Pompeii and his series on "Le Carceri d'Invenzione" or The Imaginary Prisons.  Piranesi was born and raised in the Veneto region of Italy, where he trained in both architecture and stage design for theater and opera. 

However he later moved to Rome and he spent most of his life in Rome which gave him the inspiration for his art.


The Gleaners, Jean François Millet, the Louvre, 1857



Jean-François Millet (October 4, 1814 – January 20, 1875) grew up on a modest farm in Normandy.  He was educated in both art and literature and move tod Paris in 1837 to further his studies in art at the Ecole des Beaux Arts.  Instead he joined the studio of a minor master painter, Paul Delaroche. 

Millet's talent as a painter was evident and he started receiving critical acclaim in the early 1840's. Millet moved to Barbizon in 1849 and remained there for the rest of his life.  He is perhaps best known for he work “The Gleaners”, as an artist Millet wanted to paint farmers and peasants performing their daily tasks of work, which was a big change from the popular history and mythology paintings popular at that time.  


The End of the Day, Frederic Remington (1861-1909)


Frederic Remington (October 4, 1861 – December 26, 1909) was an American artist best known for his drawings, paintings and sculptures of the American West.  He studied art both at Yale University and the Art Students League in New York City.  He traveled to Montana and Kansas, where he had a studio for a while.  He returned to New York where he worked as a writer and artist.  During his life his work was published in over 40 magazines and newspapers.

On a note other than art history, October 4, 1582 was the last day before the new "Gregorian Calendar" that is still in use today was implemented.  Pope Gregory XIII worked to reform the former calendar by correcting some miscalculations.  In the year 1582, October 4 was followed by October 15, the first day in the new calendar.





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