Note on Art

Dublin Core


Note on Art


A note from LeRoy Neiman on influences from the artist's time at SAIC.


This note from LeRoy Neiman provides an exhaustive account of artistic influences—covering everything from “Chicago sociologists” to Tilman Riemenschneider's Head of Christ— garnered at the artist’s time at SAIC. The note is roughly divided into five sections: influential literature read, courses (in both the humanities and studio arts) taken, artworks physical seen, and anecdotes about the Chicago Art Institute. The sections have little relation outside of autobiographical chornology, and the note was most likley taken in preparation for the artist's memior, All Told


LeRoy Neiman


LeRoy Neiman Foundation


LeRoy Neiman Foundation


c. 1990-2011


LeRoy Neiman


Property of the LeRoy Neiman Foundation; please consult the organization's archivist for further details.










LN_Notes_1092_01; LN_Notes_1092_02; LN_Notes_1092_03; LN_Notes_1092_04; LN_Notes_1092_05


New York (N.Y.) New York

Text Item Type Metadata


Army [When I just got out of the army in St. Paul, I did a quick oil on a cotton canvas fragment of a Tilman Riemenschneider's head of Christ from a pamphlet on his work I bought in Wurzburg in 1945 in an army occupation]
Chicago - New York [Carl Milles' Triton fountain at C.A.I and piece in stall at the Met Restaurant were touchstones to onyx Indian in St. Paul's post office] The two Minnesota pieces are no longer there
Student [As a student, because of Swedish blood, I read the writings of Swedenborg (6) and the plays of Stringburg. I also read Sartre, Paul Klee, Santayana, Freud, Kafka, the Russians, Baudelaire, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Henri James (7), T.S. Eliot and discovered Beckett. I took Swedenborg] Books [from the library] /

[The Chicago sociologist started to make their imprint] impact [on me as well as poets Paul Carrol,] and [Raoul Denny, John Piper adn big MAN David Riesman - author of "The Lonely Crowd" (1950). I also erad Huizinga's "Homo Ludens" (1950), a study of play elements in culture, Reuel Denny, "The Astonished Muse", Jeremy Bentham, "The Pleasure Principle (Notes on Hedonism)" and Rudloph Arnheim, "Psychology and Perception" / I never really enjoyed History of Art projects but realized their value years later to this day and believe it to be the most important class along with figure drawing and painting in all art training. You must have knowledge of your predecessors and respect for them as you hope generations hence will have work for you / ---- / During the 50's and 60's, my favorite artworks were Toulouse Lautrec's lithos, Gustav Gourbet's (1819-1877) "L'Apres-Diner a Oran" (1949), Paul Cezanne's "Card Players" (1892), Daumier's "At the Cafe" Lautrec and Dufy were my favorites as well, together with Kees van Dongen, a then hard to find in Chicago, an "out of favor artist"] Will select from later [I became very attached to certain paintings in the Chester Dale collection - Henri-Marie-Rayond, Vicomte de Toulouse Lautrec Monfa, French 1892 "At the Moulin Rouge" (47 1/2 X 55 1/4), "At the Moulin de la Gallete". The SAIC owned half] /

[a dozen of paintings, a sketchbook and hundreds of prints. A Lautrec exhibitions was held in 1949. He put himself in painting. He drew great head shapes, women's hairdo, men's hat indoors, young adolescent girls. Right foreground: chlorotic, pale yellow, green color. Design. dark shape groups. / - Raoul Dufy, French 1877-1953: "Nude Reclining", an exotic painting with color combinations and violets and a mountain landscape "Saint Janet" / Also "Mindful of Hindu Girl" (1928) / - Henri Matisse, French 1869-1954: "Woman Before An Aquarium" The gaze of a woman stopping at fish. I always have felt Matisse arrived at what he wanted with having to change the things very much. His intelligence guided him,] he had the ability to [put down what he intended / - Pablo Picasso, Spanish 1881-1973: "Family of Saltimbanques" (7 X 7 1/2), "Lovers" / - John Singer Sargent, American 1856-1925: "Nude Study of an Egyptian Girl" / - Giorgio de Chirico, Italian 1888-19: "Conversation Among the Ruins" (loan) / - Francois Boucher, French: "Nude" / - Georges Rouault, French 1871-19 "Jesus Always Scourged" (1922) (Also "Christ's Head", in Paris) / - A half dozen Braques' and Innis / - The women paintings of Modigliani / - Edgar Degas, French 1834-1917 Pastels, namely "Dancers in the Wings"] /

[In the Art Institute Museum upstairs, Addison and I would visit the galleries almost everyday.] at noon time [He had his favorites - Rembrandt, Vermeer, etc. I had mine, mostly the French. Two particular paintings that made my mind wanter to the Riviera were Matisse's "Woman Standing at the Window" and Dufy's "Open Window" (Nice, 1928) Similar subjects were depicted a view out from an interior on]to [the Mediterranean. They made me want to be there. Eventually I did] / Check later [Between 1947 and 1959, when at SAIC, I became especially interested in / - John Constabile, British 1776-1837. landscape "Stoke-By-Nayland" (oil). Farming with broccoli trees and cathedral in the distance. / - Jean-Francois Millet, French 1814-1875 "Bringing Home The New-Born Calf" (oil) Peasant scene of a mother following calf bearers / - Jules Breton, French 1812-1875 "The Song of the Lark" Female dignity. / - El Greco 1541-1614: "Assumption of the Virgin" The rolled back upward wet eyes! / - Giovanni Paolo Pannini, Italian 1691-1765] /

Hendrick Gollzives Dutch 1558-1619 Hercules
[(engraving), rendering from back. Great technique and anatomy (Met. Mus, Rembrandt Collection). / - Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Italian 1696-1770: "Rinaldo and Armida in the Garden". Prominent with companion piece at top of stairs; later other prominent pieces at the Met. Soft colors, space. / The Italians - Tintoretto, Veronese and Tiepolo - hit me hard and stayed with me, although they were not strongly represented in the Chicago Art Institute collections. I looked] up further [Fragonard and Tiepolo in Ryerson Library. / There was no way of not getting knocked out when the American Expressionists came to town in the late 1940s. Pollock, DeKooning, Marco Relli, [Klein] - to sight the ones who made the most powerful impact. Then there was the great masterpieces of French tapestry which I first saw at the Art Institute Show of 1948 and which set off a lifetime of keen interest. I repeatedly visit the tapestries collection at the Met when prowling] museums.

Original Format

Wordprocessed document with pencil, pen, and marker on paper.




LeRoy Neiman, “Note on Art,” LeRoy Neiman Foundation, accessed May 19, 2024,