Friday, December 02, 2011

A Painter of Spanish Life: Manet's Portrait of Madame Brunet

by Gregg Chadwick


Édouard Manet
Portrait of Madame Brunet
52 1/8" x 39 3/8" oil on canvas 1860-1863 (Reworked in 1867)
Recently Purchased by the Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Courtesy Getty Museum


In 1862 in Le Boulevard, a Parisian news sheet which was a sort of precursor to the L.A. Weekly or the Village Voice, the poet Baudelaire wrote a small article entitled Painters and Engravers. This was one of the few times that Baudelaire, who in his essay The Painter of Modern Life called for artists to search for subjects in the rancor and din of the urban street, wrote expressly about the art of his friend Édouard Manet. Baudelaire wrote,"M. Manet is the author of The Spanish Singer, which caused a great sensation in the last Salon. We will see in the next one a number of paintings by him imbued with the flavor of Spain, which leads one to believe that the genius of Spain has fled to France."

With the news that the Getty Museum has purchased Édouard Manet's Portrait of Madame Brunet, art viewers in Los Angeles will be able to answer for themselves: How did Spanish art influence Manet?


Francisco Goya after Diego Velázquez
Portrait of Ferdinand, Cardinal Infante of Spain and Archduke of Austria
etching and drypoint on paper 1778
Courtesy British Museum, London


The composition of Manet's Portrait of Madame Brunet seems to be modeled after Goya's etched version of Vélazquez's Portrait of Ferdinand, Cardinal Infante of Spain and Archduke of Austria. Madame Brunet holds her hands in a position similar to Ferdinand and her dark dress stands out against a light filled landscape in a manner that echoes Vélazquez. Further emphasizing the Spanish influence, the background of Manet's Portrait of Madame Brunet bears a striking resemblance to another Velazquez related work - Philip IV as a Hunter which had been acquired by the Louvre in 1862. At roughly the same time that Manet was painting Madame Brunet he was busy at work on an etching based on this very painting.



Édouard Manet
Portrait of Philip IV after the Workshop of Vélazquez
etching, aquatint, and drypoint on paper circa 1862


Even more striking than his compositional borrowings was Manet's use of oil paint. Manet applied the pigment thickly with spontaneous brushstrokes and flowing form that was inspired by the richness found in the paint-work of Vélazquez. In 1865, Manet visited Spain and reveled in the works of the Spanish masters at the Prado Museum (then known as the Real Museo de Pintura y Escultura).

From Madrid, Manet wrote to Baudelaire, "I've really come to know Vélazquez, and I tell you he is the greatest artist that has ever been." Open brushstrokes full of suggestion allow the viewer to enter imaginatively into Vélazquez's paintings and in a sense finish them. Manet applied this idea to subjects of modern life and created a new way of painting.




Édouard Manet
Portrait of Madame Brunet (Detail)
Courtesy Getty Museum



Édouard Manet
Victorine Meurent
16 7/8" x 17 1/4" oil on canvas circa 1862
Courtesy Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Scott Allan writes in the Getty Museum's blog The Iris, a rich description of Manet's technique in the Portrait of Madame Brunet:
"The signature elements of his original style are blazingly evident: in the brilliant summary execution of the mesmerizing gloves, the subtle wielding of a nuanced range of blacks in the dress, the sharp silhouetting of contours, and in the radical suppression of half-tones and shadows on the pale oval expanse of Mme. Brunet’s strongly lit face."

Perhaps because of the strength of the painting and the lack of nuanced delicacy, the art critic Théodore Duret recounted that, when Madame Brunet first viewed Manet's painting of her she "began crying and left the studio with her husband, never wanting to see the portrait again."

The soft atmosphere found in the painting of Vélazquez is missing. This suppression of delicate halftones coupled with sharp contours took a number of viewers of Manet's work in the 1860's aback. To many the paintings seemed flat, almost like playing-cards. What was Manet up to they wondered?

The immediacy of Manet's subject matter seemed to call for an immediacy of paint handling. Like a Zen clap, Manet's simplified tonal gradations from light to dark emphasized the force of light.

Other influential examples of flattened spacial compositions made their way to Paris. As Manet was reworking his rejected portrait, the 1867 Universal Exposition opened and the artworks, performers and cultural objects in the Japanese pavilion would inspire new directions in the arts.



Édouard Manet
Portrait of Émile Zola
57"x45" oil on canvas 1868


Manet painted a view of the exposition grounds and included a Japanese screen and a woodcut of a Sumo wrestler by the Japanese artist Kuniaki in the background of his Portrait of Emile Zola.  Hanging next to the Kuniaki print in Manet's witty portrait is an engraving after Vélazquez's painting of Bacchus as well as a reproduction of his own Olympia. In another cross-cultural engagement, less than one hundred and fifty years later Japanese artist Takashi Murakami would bring his own superflat paintings to Versailles.




Kawaii- Vacances, Summer Vacation in the Kingdom of the Golden and Untitled Carpet in the Salle des Gardes du Roi at the Chateau de Versailles by Takashi Murakami, via Artinfo




Édouard Manet's painting Portrait of Madame Brunet will go on view at the Getty Museum on December 13, 2011. After writing this piece, it dawned on me that my painting Tokyo Lolita could be a 21st century Ms. Brunet ...


Tokyo Lolita


Gregg Chadwick
Tokyo Lolita
24"x18" oil on linen 2010
Manifesta Maastricht Gallery, Maastricht, The Netherlands

More at:
A French Mona Lisa Comes to L.A.
Getty Acquires Moody Manet

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Thursday, December 01, 2011

A Day of Remembrance and Hope: World AIDS Day

"So often we think that when we're talking about the AIDS epidemic … we should be focusing mainly on the contributions that people in medicine can make—and we need those contributions…. But what I want to suggest is that we also need artists to enter the conversation, to enter the mix."
 - David Gere, project director for the Art/Global Health Center and an associate professor and World Art and Cultures co-chair.


Today we join as a global community and pay tribute to the millions of lives lost and families affected by HIV/AIDS on World AIDS Day. We also pay tribute to the nurses, care givers and doctors who have cared for those afflicted and all those working for a cure.

People light candles in the shape of a red ribbon, the symbol of the AIDS awareness campaign, during a rally to mark World AIDS Day in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2009. 
AP PHOTO/ACHMAD IBRAHIM

This morning the Washington Post sponsored an online chat with UCLA's Dr. Michael Gottlieb who in 1981 was the first physician to describe the new disease that would become known as acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). That year Dr. Gottlieb and his UCLA colleagues described the CD-4 cell deficiency associated with HIV.

The chat was incredibly informative about the history of the disease, current research, and future treatments. Dr. Gottlieb took great care in clearing up misunderstandings. It is well worth the time to scroll through the chat. Please visit the Washington Post for the complete feature
I am posting highlights below for quick reference.:

Dr. Michael Gottlieb

MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
Good morning. This is Michael Gottlieb in Los Angeles on this World AIDS Day. I appreciate your interest in HIV/AIDS and am looking forward to your questions.

Q.
AIDS
Who was patient "ZERO?"

A.
MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
Good question. Patient "Zero" was a patient in Randy Shilts book. Not really the first patient. He was an early case who may have spread HIV to a number of others. Part of the LA-Orange County cluster investigated and reported by CDC in the early days.

Q.
HIV
Is the transmission of the virus from female to males rare?

A.
MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
Not rare. Less common than male to female in developed countries. Very common in Africa and resource poor countrues.

Q.
PERSONAL FEAR OF CONTRACTING DISEASE BY CASUAL CONTACT WITH PATIENTS
How much confidence did you have during the first few months of seeing the initial patients that the illness was not being passed through casual contact or proximity? THANKS, Paul

A.
MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
There was some worry in the first days, weeks and months and we did take some chances. But it quickly became clear that the transmission pattern was the same as type B hepatitis which is spread in well defined, non-casual ways. One good thing to happen from the HIV epidemic is universal precautions followed by all health workers.


Q.
PUBLIC ATTITUDES
How have public attitudes and opinions toward the disease affected your work over the decades, and how has that changed? Have there any setbacks or difficulties in research regarding treatment of the disease? Likewise, what improvements have there been as the stigma over the disease shifts?



Photo: Rock Hudson in 1961. Credit: Leo Fuchs, courtesy of the John Kobal Foundation


A.
MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
Things were very difficult in the first few years. The public and press ignored the first several thousand cases and woke up after Rock Hudson. Then there was fear and rejection. Our President and world leaders did not speak about AIDS. Things have improved slowly but there is still stigma. I dont know too many patients who feel comfortable disclosing their status to family and employers for fear of repercussions.

Q.
ORIGIN OF AIDS
It was rumored that AIDS had its origins in monkeys. Truth or Rumor? What is the story?

A.
MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
It's not just rumor but a fact that HIV originated in chimpanzees in Africa. There is elegant science from Prof. Beatrice Hahn at the University of Alabama that documents this. The virus SIC cpoz is the ancestor of HIV and proabably crossed over when hunters butchered chimps for food and were exposed to blood.

Q.
HIV/AIDS ERADICATION
What do you believe will be the method by which HIV is cured and what is required to achieve it? Thanks.

A.
MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
There are two strategies for cure. One is eradication, which is difficult because the virus enters a state of latency in very long-lived cells where it is integrated into the chromosome of the host. The drugs we have today don't touch that reservoir. The other strategy is "functional" cure where the persons own immune system is improved to better keep the virus under wraps. Kind of link what happens with some cancer cures where the tumor is in remission under the influence of the immune system.

Q.
HIV GENE THERAPY
How close is gene therapy for this disease?

A.
MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
There are studies in progress which can be found at the website clinicaltrials.gov. I don't think that widespread cost effective application of this in the epidemic is just around the corner. People should be encouraged to participate in trials though.

Q.
THE FUTURE OF AIDS
Hi there Dr. Gottleib. I recognized you and your work from the Frontline Television Series about HIV and AIDS. Currently, I am in the process of applying to medical schools and your experiences with HIV/AIDS have inspired me pursue a career in infectious diseases. My questions: 1. What emotions and thoughts crossed in your head as you began to realize how big a pandemic HIV/AIDS was? 2. Do you feel that cancer research has taken precedence over HIV/AIDS research? 3. What do you think are the major obstacles to annihilating HIV from the world? Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Sincerely, Andrew Sou

A.
MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
My first reaction was amazement that in medicine there was something new and dramatic. I felt very badly for the first patients who were very ill and we were not able to tell them what they had or what to do about it. I became angry later when society at large did not seem to care. At the start it never dawned on me that this was the start of a global pandemic that would kill tens of millions.

Q.
AIDS
Can you predict that the day will come when an actual "cure" will be found for AIDS??

A.
MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
Sorry. My crystal ball is not working very well. In 2001 I predicted an HIV vaccine by 2010 and was reminded of that earlier this year by reporters. No more predictions.

Q.
FREQUENCY OF TEST
How often should one be tested for HIV?

A.
MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
It all depends on what you are doing sexually. If you are having multiple partners, not practicing safer sex, having anonymous sex, or having sex with someone who is HIV+ you should get frequent tests, maybe twice a year. But a better idea is to reduce the number of partners and know your partners HIV status, and practice safer sex, ie condoms.

Q.
THE LANGUAGE OF HIV
HIV is stigmatizing and people with HIV discriminated against. I increasingly see language at state/federal level refer to people living with HIV/AIDS as 'HIV infected'. Does an emphasis on viral load suppression as a way of decreasing 'infectiousness' increase stigma?

A.
MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
I don't particularly like the language HIV-infected. But getting the viral load undetectable is the new gold standard for success in treatment and I view it as a step toward people feeling better about themselves.

Q.
FIRST KNOWN CASE IN US VS FIRST ACTUAL INCIDENCE
I have heard that the US Military has blood samples from 1950's they retained from GI's that had HIV. Is there or has evidence been found that HIV/AIDS/ARC/GRIDS was in US before 1980's? I have a friend whom had active AIDS Complications (GRIDS Diagnosis due to PCP and with T-Cells below 100) in 1982. Person had been in literally World Class Athletic Shape in 1980, so seems person had to get HIV much prior to 1980 with HIV taking so long to become AIDS; especially when it was a low active HIV Infection. Blessings and Warmest Regards....

A.
MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
HIV was in the US blood supply (rare instances) as early as 1977. It may have been in North America as early as the late '60s. So the patients like your friend and my first patients may have been infected in the late '70s and it took 3-4 years to progress to an AIDS diagnosis and be noticed.

Q.
WORLD AIDS DAY
With 22.5 million people in sub-Saharan Africa HIV+, high prevalence rates among women and especially girls, high numbers of people unable to access ARVs, millions of orphans, and more, do you think it is realistic to speak of zero's? I have a very hard time with this theme. Susanna Grannis West Townshend, VT

A.
MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
Maybe not zero's, but we can achieve dramatic reduction in numbers. While a formidable problem, HIV in Africa should not be thought hopeless. Secretary of State Clinton spoke about an AIDS-free generation in November and that can be achieved through theknow-how that we already have. Prevention of mother to child transmission, voluntary male circumcision, and providing treatment, which reduces the risk of transmission. We just need to make it more available and this is threatened by proposed cuts to the US and other countries cuts to their committments to the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria. I hope that the Administration will reconsider.

Q.
FRENCH DISCOVERY
Did you steal the research on HIV from the French?

A.
MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
No. All I did was report the first cases and describe the syndrome, not the isolation of the virus. Thanks for the opportunity to clear that up.

Q.
WORLD AIDS DAY - 12/1/2011
Dr. Gottlieb, How far away is the medical world to see a prevention/cure for HIV/AIDS? -Michael in San Francisco, CA

A.
MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
The best route to prevention is a vaccine and that research has been frustrating. That deserves a very high priority for funding and many scientists are working on it full time.

There are some promising approaches in the works.

Cure is more difficult. The Berlin patient appears cured but treatment was radical, life-threatening and expensive, not feasible for the masses. Patients should not think it is right around the corner. Suppression of the viral replication with ARV's taken religiously is the best approach despite its obviuous problems of side effects, cost, etc.

Q.
ONE POSITIVE OUTCOME?
AIDS appeared about the time that the religious right was rising to prominence, and that group used the disease as proof of its hateful idea that homosexuality and gays are a threat to society. Back then I was very pessimistic about the future of gays in American society - I had expected all sorts of limits on their freedoms "for the sake of public health." Not only did that bleak future fail to materialize, gays and lesbians have actually made more gains toward full equality. Why do you think that happened? Did the religious right's rhetoric have the effect of galvanizing gay activists?

Keith Haring
Silence = Death 1989

A.
MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
I agree that it did not materialize although it was scary for awhile in the late '80s with LaRouche and others proposing draconian measures. I think what did happen speaks to the strength of our system in protecting the rights of minorities.

It is a good thing that activists were able to move the research agenda forward working through legislators and by some civil disobedience as with ACT-UP. The community of activists played a huge role in producing the gains in treatent we have today. And Elizabeth Glaser whose own kids were affected made progress happen for children with HIVand for prevention of mother to child transmission. Her foundation EGPAF carries on that work today in Africa and other resource poor settings.

Q.
QUESTION
If one wishes to get pregnant and one partner has AIDS, was is the risk of the disease being transferred to other partner?

A.
MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
This can be done. There are clinics who will "wash" the male's semen clean of HIV and then do in vitro fertilization.

I have several patients in my practice who did that and have healthy kids and an uninfected mom.



Q.
NYC TO SAN FRANCISCO AND POINTS BEYOND
Dr. Gottlieb, seeing you on this chat is so exciting (coming from someone who read "And The Band Played On" from cover to cover and then immediately started over). Thanks for doing it. In the book, Shilts used startling imagery to convey the idea that AIDS was brought to the US during the bicentennial celebration in NYC in 1976. Is this still an accurate hypothesis, or has it been discredited?

A.
MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
I loved that book, but Randy did take some poetic license to make the story nmore dramatic. Maybe patient zero and the bicentennial are examples of this. I just don't think there is any data to support but did make a great story.

Q.
REAGAN ADMIN
Hello Dr. Gottlieb. Thanks you for your work. Do you feel that if the Reagan Admin had not failed to fund and address the early days of this epidemic we would be in an even better place today? Do you tink teh stigma against HIV+ people throughout the world is as big if not a bigger hampering to progress in defeating this virus?

A.
MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
I do think that many of the 700,000 who died here and the 1.3 million in the US now living with HIV might have been spared if their had been a clear message coming from the highest levels of the federal government from the get-go. But Reagan's advisors were very conservative and not about to have anything to do with a disease that had a homosexual or drug use association. Stigma remains a major force today in every society where HIV is present. For a while we saw HIV+ characters on TV presented sypathetically but that and media coverage in general has faded here as there is a sense that the crisis is past.


Q.
VIRUS MUTATION?
Does the HIV virus mutate quickly (like a cold or influenza virus) or slowly? Is that one of the challenges in creating a vaccine against HIV/AIDS?

A.
MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
That is one problem but there are others such as the way HIV hides some of its vital structures from the immune system until after it infects a cell.

Q.
HIV/AIDS
My boyfriend disclosed to me that he's HIV+ and he did so before we had sexual relations. How cautious should I be? We are both gay men... I don't stigmatize him, but I want our intimacy to be as normal and as safe as possible.

A.
MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
Disclosing is the right thing to do. The next question is whether he is on medicatiion and has an undetectable viral load, takes his medicine, and does not do drugs like crystal that could affect his adherence. Sex is safer if the viral load is undetectable but no one can guarantee that it is totally safe and that is why the use of condoms is still recommended.

Q.
MAGIC JOHNSON
Magic Johnson has announced he's cured of HIV/AIDS -- wonderful news! What can immunology and virology learn from his case, and those few others where patients appear to have made a full recovery?

A.
MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
I don't think he has announced anything of the sort. I saw him interviewed the other night on CNN where he said that he was taking medicine twice a day to suppress his HIV.

Q.
AIDS/HIV
Dr. Gottlieb, While many people blame The Reagan Administration and homosexual stimga, isn't it true that early research was impeded in part by the medical community by the National Institutes of Health, a prominent institute in Paris and the medical agendas of the doctors who wanted to be credited with isolating the disease?

A.
MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
I don't think so. Scientists at NIH worked hard on AIDS from the get-go and the NIH under the incredible leadership of Dr. Anthony Fauci has produced many of the gains we have today in treatment and prevention.


Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.
NIAID Director


Q.
NEW T-CELLS
Some whom had AIDS have regained high T-cell numbers; are the New T-cells the same, better or worse in fighting infections....

A.
MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
Good question. Actually doubt that they are functional and as diverse as T cells in people who are not HIV+. But today T cell number is less important than having the viral load undetectable. There are some patients with undetectable who have CD-4 counts less than 200. They do well clinically but we all would be more comfortable if their counts were higher and strategies to raise then are being studied.

Q.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA
Does medical marijuana have any use for AIDS patients?

A.

MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
Does not affect T cell counts or viral load in my experience. Some patients are helped with their neuropathy (nerve pain) from previous toxic meds or with sleep and anxiety.

Q.
EARLIEST PATIENTS
When AIDS was identified and reserach worked backwards, did the earliest AIDS patients appear to be concentrated in Manhattan, LA, or from where?

A.
MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
Earliest patients were in large cities. NY, LA, SF, Houston and Miami.

Q.
TREATMENT
Which do you think is more likely to be developed first: a cure for HIV infection or a vaccination to prevent it? I am a young gay man in Washington DC and despite the fact that I always use protection, I am petrified by the knowledge that HIV infection rates here are so high.

A.
MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
There is also the emerging area of PREP, pre-exposure prophylaxis, where a young man can take an antiviral to prevent establishment of HIV if he is exposed. Best advice is careful selection of partners and if the partner is HIV+ that he be undetectable and practicing safe sex. But ask an expert about PREP or keep following that story.

Q.
ORIGINS TO BREAKTHROUGH
There are many theories ranging from cross-contamination of blood supply while searching for Polio vaccine to eating monkey. What do you believe is the origin of AIDS and do you see promising breakthroughs in CCR5 gene mutation being something that can be pilled for easy access to the poor?

A.
MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
I don't buy the polio story. Yes, exposure to the blood of chimps probably explains the crossover to the human species.

More widepread use of needles (re-used) in Africa may have played a role in transmission.

MICHAEL GOTTLIEB :
Gotta go. Thanks for chatting.


U.S. President Barack Obama greets singer Bono after making remarks at a World AIDS Day event hosted by the ONE Campaign and (RED) at George Washington University on December 1, 2011. 
UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg



More at:
Michael Gottlieb's Homepage
Art and AIDS
World AIDS Day 2011 in Washington DC

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Zach Wahls Stands Up for His Family



In this moving, much watch video, shot in February 2011, Zach Wahls - a 19-year-old University of Iowa student - addresses a public forum on House Joint Resolution 6 in the Iowa House of Representatives. Wahls has two mothers, and came to oppose House Joint Resolution 6 which would end civil unions in Iowa.

The fight to to keep marriage equality continues in Iowa and across the country!




Above is Talking With's interview with Mr. Wahls in which Zach speaks about what it was like growing up with two mothers, what led him to decide to go and speak before the House of Representatives, how his life has changed after this speech thrust him into the public eye, and what other young people can do to fight for equality and speak out against intolerance.

Thanks to Talking With for the comment and link!

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