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Jan Siberechts

Jan Siberechts was a Flemish landscape painter who after a successful career in Antwerp, emigrated in the latter part of his life to England. In his early works, he developed a personal style of landscape painting, with an emphasis on the Flemish countryside and country life, his landscapes painted in England retained their Flemish character by representing a universal theme. Siberechts painted hunting scenes for his English patrons; the topographical views he created in England stand at the beginning of the English landscape tradition. Jan Siberechts was born in the son of a sculptor with the same name, he trained in Antwerp with his father and became a master in the local Guild of Saint Luke by 1648. It is possible but not certain that in the late early 1650s he visited Italy, he married Maria-Anna Croes in Antwerp in 1652. He developed a personal style of painting landscapes, which impressed George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham when he visited Antwerp in 1670; the Duke invited the artist to England.

Siberechts arrived in England around 1672 and spent the first three years in England painting decorations in the Duke’s newly built Cliveden House at Taplow, England. From the second part of the 1670s and in the 1680s he travelled in England completing numerous commissions for aristocratic clients, he lived in London. His younger daughter, married the Flemish émigré sculptor Artus Quellinus III and, after being widowed, John Nost, another Flemish émigré sculptor. Whilst in London he was commissioned to paint the Belsize Estate of goldsmith banker John Coggs in 1696, which now hangs in the Tate Gallery London, he died in London. John Wootton was one of his pupils. About 100 of his works have been preserved, his early works were indebted to Dutch Italianate landscape painters such as Nicolaes Berchem and Karel Dujardin. Siberechts must have become acquainted with their work in Antwerp as these artists were active in Rome and Siberechts did not visit Italy himself although such a visit in the late 1640s, early 1650s cannot be excluded.

In the 1660s he developed a personal style of landscape painting, with an emphasis on the Flemish countryside and country life. He introduced into the foreground of his landscapes figures of robust country girls, dressed in bright red and yellow; these countrywomen are shown traveling in carts, on foot and on the backs of mules and in the act of carrying objects, bundles or baskets or crossing flooded roads or fords. The volumetric modeling and the manner in which they are set against brightly lit areas of the countryside make the figures stand out from the picture; the artist used the figures to play with the visual effects produced by the figures in the water. His landscapes painted in England in the 1670s and 1680s retained their Flemish character by representing a universal theme; this stands in contrast to Dutch landscape paintings of the period, which concentrated on a single aspect of a landscape. Siberechts' landscapes depicted powerful trees and soft light on distant hills while the figures became less important than the landscape itself.

The foreground was kept dark in order to draw attention to the broad, brightly lit vista in the background. Siberechts painted hunting scenes for his English patrons; these are the earliest country house portraits in England. He used a standardised composition for these hunting scenes: the hunting scene with the huntsmen and horsemen in the foreground and a naturalistic view of the stately home as the backdrop, placed in a misty and atmospheric landscape, he adopted a bird's - eye view. These country house portraits had an important influence on English landscape painting and Siberechts can be regarded as the ‘father of British landscape’; these landscapes have an important historic and topographical interest. Siberechts stood at the beginning of a long tradition of Flemish painters who made topographical paintings of the estates of the British nobility; these artists include Pieter Andreas Rijsbrack and Hendrik Frans de Cort. Media related to Jan Siberechts at Wikimedia Commons

13th Illinois Infantry Regiment

The 13th Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, nicknamed "Fremont's Grey Hounds," was an infantry regiment that served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. The Thirteenth was one of the regiments organized under the act known as the Ten Regiment Bill; the 13th Illinois Infantry was mustered into state service by Captain John Pope, at Camp Dement, Illinois, on April 21, 1861, summoned into Federal service on May 24, 1861, for a three-year term. The Thirteenth was the first Regiment organized from the Second Congressional District of Northern Illinois. In June, the regiment was ordered to Caseyville, Illinois, 10 miles east of St. Louis, by July 5, had arrived at Rolla, where it remained until the spring of 1862. While stationed at Rolla, the regiment was deployed to guard the supply trains to and from General Lyon’s army, from guerrilla bands in that part of the state a small detachment took part at the battle of Wilson’s Creek; the Thirteenth was part of General Fremont’s force that went to Springfield, Missouri, in the fall of 1861.

In 1862 the regiment joined General Curtis’ army at Pea Ridge, Missouri, 250 miles southwest of Rolla, in his march from Pea Ridge to Helena, Arkansas, on the Mississippi River. The regiment was part of General Sherman’s army in his attack on Chickasaw Bayou, on the first day of battle at the Bayou, Colonel Wyman was killed; the Thirteenth was present at the capture of Arkansas Post, was successful in a raid in Greenville, Mississippi. The regiment was mustered out on June 18, 1864; the regiment suffered 6 officers and 61 enlisted men who were killed in action or who died of their wounds and 5 officers and 123 enlisted men who died of disease, for a total of 192 fatalities. Colonel John B. Wyman - killed at the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou December 28, 1862. Colonel Adam B. Gorgas - Mustered out June 18, 1864 Lt. Colonel Benjamin F. Parks - Resigned June 25, 1861 Lt. Colonel William Frederick Partridge - Mustered out June 18, 1864 Major James M. Beardsley - Mustered out June 18, 1864 Major Douglas R. Bushnell- Killed Ringgold, Georgia November 27, 1863 Quartermaster William C. Henderson - Resigned July 28, 1863 Quartermaster John S. McClary - Mustered out June 18, 1864 Adjutant Henry T. Porter - Mustered out June 18, 1864 List of Illinois Civil War Units Illinois in the American Civil War The Civil War Archive Military History and Reminiscences of the Thirteenth Regiment of Illinois Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War in the United States, 1861-1865 Illinois Flags From The Civil War 13th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry

William Cook (British industrialist)

Sir William Thomas Gustavus Cook was a British industrialist and Liberal politician, active in local government in Birmingham and sat in the House of Commons from 1885 to 1886. He was the second son of Anselm Cook of Kingscourt, Gloucestershire, where he was born, he took up an apprenticeship to the pin and wire trade in Birmingham and subsequently set up his own business as a manufacturer of tacks and shoe rivets. In 1872 Cook was elected to Birmingham Town Council, in 1875 became chairman of the Borough Health Committee, he was made an alderman in 1882, served as Mayor of Birmingham in 1883/84. In 1885 he was selected as Liberal candidate for the newly created constituency of Birmingham East, won the seat at general election of that year, he was only a member of the House of Commons for a brief period, however, as he was defeated by his Conservative opponent when another election was held in 1886. He was an unsuccessful parliamentary candidate for the Bordesley constituency of Birmingham at the 1895 general election.

Cook was a justice of the peace for Warwickshire and the City of Birmingham, made his home at Ashley House, Staffordshire, on the outskirts of the city. He was knighted in 1906. William Cook died in Blackpool in January 1908, aged 73. Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by William Cook