Day in History 22 February – Amerigo Vespucci – Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot – Andy Warhol

Marble statue outside the Uffizi in Florence

On this day in 1512, explorer, navigator and cartographer, Amerigo Vespucci, died in Seville, Spain at the age of 57 from an unknown cause.  Born on 9 March 1454 in Florence.  One of the early explorers of the New World.  The Americas are generally believed to have derived their name from the feminized Latin version of his first name.  The Final Footprint – Vespucci is entombed in the Chiesa di Ognissanti (All-Saints Church), a Franciscan church in Florence, founded by the lay order of the Umiliati.  The church was dedicated to all the saints and martyrs, known and unknown.


Jean-Baptiste-Camille_Corot_c1850On this day in 1875,  landscape and portrait painter as well as a printmaker in etching, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot died in his home, rue du Faubourg-Poissionnière, Paris, 10th arr. of a stomach disorder aged 78.  Born in Paris on 16 July 1796, in a house at 125 Rue du Bac, now demolished.  In my opinion, Corot is a pivotal figure in landscape painting and his vast output simultaneously references the Neo-Classical tradition and anticipates the plein-air innovations of Impressionism.  The Final Footprint – Corot is entombed at Père Lachaise Cemetery.  Other notable Final Footprints at Père Lachaise include; Honoré de Balzac, Georges Bizet, Jean-Dominique Bauby, Maria Callas, Chopin, Colette, Auguste Comte, Amedeo Modigliani, Molière, Jim Morrison, Édith Piaf, Camille Pissarro, Marcel Proust, Sully Prudhomme, Gioachino Rossini, Georges-Pierre Seurat, Simone Signoret, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Oscar Wilde and Richard Wright.


Camille Corot – A Woman Reading, 1869/1870, Metropolitan Museum of Art

La Trinité-des-Monts, seen from the Villa Medici, 1825–1828, oil on canvas. Paris: Musée du Louvre.

The Bridge at Narni, 1826, oil on paper. Paris: Musée du Louvre. A product of one of the artist’s youthful sojourns to Italy, and in Kenneth Clark’s words “as free as the most vigorous Constable”.

View of the Forest of Fontainebleau (1830)

Venise, La Piazzetta, 1835


Plaque on the home of Camille Corot where he died, rue du Faubourg-Poissionnière, Paris, 10th arr.


St Sebastian Succoured by Holy Women, between 1851 and 1873 oil on canvas, The Walters Art Museum


Ville d’Avray, ca. 1867, oil on canvas. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art.


Bornova, İzmir, 1873


The Little Bird Nesters (1873-1874) detail


Monk Reading Book, 1850-1855


Andy_Warhol_by_Jack_MitchellOn this day in 1987 artist Andy Warhol died in New York City at New York Hospital from a sudden post-operative cardiac arrhythmia following gall bladder surgery, at the age of 58.  Born Andrej Varhola, Jr. on 6 August 1928 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Warhol was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art.  His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertisement that flourished by the 1960s.  After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became a renowned and sometimes controversial artist.  The Andy Warhol Museum in his native city, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, holds an extensive permanent collection of art and archives.  It is the largest museum in the United States dedicated to a single artist.  His art used many types of media, including hand drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, silk screening, sculpture, film, and music.  He was also a pioneer in computer-generated art using Amiga computers that were introduced in 1984, two years before his death.  He founded Interview Magazine and was the author of numerous books, including The Philosophy of Andy Warhol and Popism: The Warhol Sixties. Warhol managed and produced the Velvet Underground, a rock band which had a strong influence on the evolution of punk rock music.  His studio, The Factory, was a famous gathering place that brought together distinguished intellectuals, playwrights, Bohemian street people, Hollywood celebrities, and wealthy patrons.  Warhol has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions, books, and feature and documentary films.  He coined the widely used expression “15 minutes of fame”.  andyWarhol's_graveThe Final Footprint – Warhol’s body was taken back to Pittsburgh by his brothers for burial.  The wake was at Thomas P. Kunsak Funeral Home and was an open-coffin ceremony.  The coffin was a solid bronze casket with gold plated rails and white upholstery.  Warhol was dressed in a black cashmere suit, a paisley tie, a platinum wig, and sunglasses.  He was posed holding a small prayer book and a red rose.  The funeral liturgy was held at the Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church on Pittsburgh’s North Side.  The eulogy was given by Monsignor Peter Tay.  Yoko Ono and John Richardson were speakers.  The coffin was covered with white roses and asparagus ferns.  After the liturgy, the coffin was driven to St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery in Bethel Park, a south suburb of Pittsburgh.  At the grave, the priest said a brief prayer and sprinkled holy water on the casket.  Before the coffin was lowered, Paige Powell dropped a copy of Interview magazine, an Interview T-shirt, and a bottle of the Estee Lauder perfume “Beautiful” into the grave.  Warhol was buried next to his mother and father.  A memorial service was held in Manhattan for Warhol on 1 April 1987, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York.

Triple Elvis
Andy Warhol Triple Elvis.jpg

Painting from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Artist Andy Warhol
Year 1963

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