"Don't let sadness get you down - live, paint, and smile. You are my greatest love. These were Frida Kahlo's loving lines to Diego Rivera, January 1948. I find it unbearable that he is absent from me. Her return is one of the most sweetest wishes that I can make, Theodore Gericault wrote to Madame Trouillard in August 1822. These are only a few of the 34 letters filled with love and aesthetic judgements that 15 painting geniuses wrote over two centuries. The Thyssen now exhibits some of his finest works.
Many letters are accompanied by drawings and sketches that show the intimate nature of the authors. The museum displays handwritten letters of masters of painting until September 25 in many of its rooms. These are among the most important jewels of the collection of postcards and letters signed by painters like Delacroix and Monet, Matisse and Matisse. They will be exhibited in Spain for the first-time.
"The writing of many letters is as revealing and as insightful as the paintings of their writers and they reveal realities we don't know," says Guillermo Solana (artistic director at Thyssen) and the owner of the letters. They are filled with amazing pieces. These letters are full of honesty, and we can feel the heart of the artists when we read them," says the proud owner.
Egon Schile's letter to his furious wife, together with the painting 'House by the River. Thyssen Museum - The Old City (1914).
Clara Marcellan is the curator of the Thyssen's modern painting exhibition. She has followed the criteria for selecting the letters, which were initially restricted to love letters. The curator summarized, "But they also contain the expression of ideas, which painters sometimes illustrate with small sketches- and the defense of their artwork, the celebrations of triumphs, the details of the creative processes of a work, references and historical events, and a great variety if feelings that bring us closer and in a different manner to the life and personality artists."
As Delacroix writes to Josephine Forget, we know that happiness is found in being content with oneself. Van Gogh was already astonished at his arrival in Arles. He felt happy there, thanks to his careful calligraphy. The beautiful sun in the middle summer. It hits you on your head and it can make one go crazy. It's still something I enjoy, just as it was before," Emile Bernard, a red-haired, unstable painter, wrote to Emile Bernard August 1888. He also described 'The unloaders at Arles' the work he was doing and where your letter is located.
Gauguin also had a precise and neat calligraphy. He wrote an aesthetic manifesto in a letter he sent in 1899 from Tahiti to William Molard. This was in response to Andre Fontainas's unfavorable critique in the Mercure de Fance. To Alice Hoschende in February 1901, Monet describes the Thames as pure gold. He will also share his troubles in London and Norway with her. Matisse tells Matisse about his trip through Morocco with countless sketches. Juan Gris, his second wife, tells Josette in his letters the details of his work on Diaghilev's ballets.
Above are Matisee's sketches (and his letter to his wife) Letter from Pissarro and Gauguin, post-intervention by Lucien Freud/ Thyssen Museum
The letters that were written during wartime by Egon Schiele and Fernand Leger, Gala-Dali's wife, muse-or Max Pechstein, merit special attention. Egon Schiele informs Edhit Harms (his future wife) that he has been assigned to the 75th Regiment and to the "vigilance" service in June 1915. Jeanne Lohy was also told by Leger in January 1915, "The shells pass above my head". Gala begs Paul Eluard, her first husband, to stop her from walking through the woods in the heat of World War I.
Anne-Marie Springer started collecting love letters after her daughter's birth in 1994. She wanted to leave her a legacy of words and letters when SMS and e-mail threatened writing. She currently has more than 2000 pieces in her collection. The oldest date back to the 15th century, while the latest dates back to the 1970s. One letter signed by Napoleon Bonaparte, a young man, to Josephine was the first that caught her eye. Then she accumulated hundreds of letters, many of which were as interesting as the one in which Victor Hugo's lover demanded that her panties be returned.
Springer's interest in romantic correspondence has been broadened to include literature, history, music, and all arts. Springer has focused his attention on letters from painters, in which he emphasizes "the coherence of their art and my thought." He claims that he sees in them clear correspondences between calligraphy and pictorial style, which is more evident than in the case Egon Schiele.