Author Archives: ArtLark

October 20

Princess Rákóczi by Nicolas de Largillière

On the 20th of October 1656, the French Rococo painter Nicolas de Largillière was born in Paris. Brought up in Antwerp and Paris, he also lived and worked in London, gaining the admiration of kind Charles II, then James II, as well as the French king Louis XIV, all of whom he painted, alongside various […]

October 19

Quincunx, Electricity, Computer… The Mastermind of Sir Thomas Browne

Sir Thomas Browne was an English author of numerous medical, religious, scientific and esoteric works. He was born on the 19th of October 1605 and died exactly 77 years later on the 19th of October 1682. This numerological symmetry seems in his case more of a necessity than a coincidence for it supports his theory […]

October 18

Phillis Wheatley: Freed by Imagination

On the 18th of October 1775, African-American poet Phillis Wheatley was freed from slavery. Born in Senegal in 1753, Phillis was kidnapped and brought to Boston at at the age of 8 on a 1761 slave ship. There, she had the fortune of being purchased by John Wheatley as a personal servant to his wife […]

October 17

Natalia Goncharova’s Stand Against Western Modernism

Russian artist Natalia Goncharova (b. 1881) died on the 17th of October 1962 in Paris. One of the leaders of the early 20th century Russian avant-garde, her art spanned from Primitivism, Fauvism, Cubism to Futurism and Rayonism, but she was mostly known in the West for her book illustrations and stage decorations for ballet, costumes […]

October 16

Marie-Antoinette’s Hair Extravaganza

On the 16th of October 1793 – only two weeks before her thirty-eighth birthday – Marie Antoinette was beheaded at the Place de la Révolotion in Paris. From a historical perspective, one can refer to her death in a more symbolic context as to a loss of identity that was never entirely her own.  “For Marie-Antoinette, […]

October 15

Jack the Ripper’s Letter from Hell

15 October 1888 – says the postmark on the letter received by George Lusk, the then head of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee. The sender of the letter was allegedly the serial killer and bogeyman of Victorian London, Jack the Ripper. The cryptic message in the letter read as follows: From hell Mr Lusk Sor I send […]

October 14

The Tale of the Real Winnie Bear

On the 14th of October 1926, Alan Alexander Milne’s iconic collection of children’s stories Winnie-the-Pooh was first published by Methuen in London. The story of the actual brown bear which inspired Milne’s cartoon teddy is a lot less known, even though it has been the subject of books, such as  Real Winnie: A One-of-a-kind Bear (2003) by Val Shushkewich, or even […]

October 13

Art Tatum: The Prodigy of Jazz

Art Tatum, one of the most famous jazz pianists in history, was born on the 13th of October 1909, in Toledo, Ohio. His exceptional talent and prodigious technique were a true revelation to the jazz lovers at the time. Many would agree that Tatum was to jazz what Mozart to classical music. “When Art Tatum arrived…, […]

October 12

History in Nursery Rhymes: Three Blind Mice

On the 12th of October 1609, the popular children’s nursery rhyme Three Blind Mice was published in London. A version of this rhyme, together with music, was published in Deuteromelia (1609); the editor was Thomas Ravenscroft (c.1582-1635), still a teenager at the time of its publication. London life in the 1600s was hard for everyone. The capital […]

October 11

Piaf and Cocteau: Les Enfants Terribles

When I write I disturb. When I make a film I disturb. When I paint I disturb. When I exhibit my paintings I disturb, and I disturb if I don’t. I have a knack for disturbing. (Jean Cocteau, Diary of an Unknown) On the 11th of October 1963, a French poet, novelist, designer, playwright, artist, […]