Category Archives: Art History

May 26

A.G. Baumgarten, The Man Who ‘Invented’ Aesthetics

On the 26th of May 1762, German philosopher Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten was born in Frankfurt (Oder), Brandenburg. He famously introduced the current definition of the philosophical discipline of aesthetics in his Halle master’s thesis when he was only twenty-one years of age. He called this epistêmê aisthetikê, or the science of what is sensed and […]

May 22

The Model-Mistress-Muse Paradigm: Henrietta Moraes

On the 22nd of May 1931, British model, muse and memoirist Audrey Wendy Abbott known as Henrietta Moraes was born in Simla, India, where her father was stationed in the Indian Air Force. He deserted her mother when Henrietta was young, and she had a difficult upbringing raised by an abusive grandmother in England where […]

May 18

Through the Female Lens: Gertrude Käsebier’s Indians

On the 18th of May 1852, leading American pictorialist photographer Gertrude Käsebier was born in Des Moines, Iowa. Artistically trained at the Pratt Institute, then in France and Germany, she started off as a magazine photo-illustrator, opening her own portrait studio on Fifth Avenue in New York at the end of the 19th century. Her […]

May 17

Fashion, Mondrian Style

On the 17th of May 1911, the Swedish fashion model Lisa Fonssagrives, widely credited as the first ever supermodel,  was born in Västra Götaland County, Sweden. A classic Scandinavian beauty “with impossibly high cheekbones and a cool, penetrating look of well-born entitlement” (Harold Koda, Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion), she posed for some of the most […]

May 11

Inorganic vs Organic in Paul Nash’s ‘Totes Meer’

On the 11th of May 1889, British Surrealist painter and war artist Paul Nash was born in London. The older brother of the artist John Nash, he started his professional education at the Chelsea Polytechnic, from which he moved on to the London County Council School of Photo-engraving and Lithography. Eventually, after being spotted by […]

May 10

The National Gallery Before Trafalgar Square

“Monday, 10th of  May, 1824, probably did not strike contemporaries as especially notable. At the Guildhall Court ‘Eliza Cockburn, a rather interesting-looking girl, about 15 years of age, was charged with attempting to set fire to the house of her master.’ Kean was unable to appear in the title role in Richard III at Drury […]

May 08

The Story Behind Gauguin’s Biographic Noa Noa

On the 8th of May 1903, the iconic French Post-Impressionist painter Paul Gauguin died in Atuona, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia. In 1891, Gauguin sailed to French Polynesia allegedly to escape European civilization and “everything that is artificial and conventional”. As a record of his travels, he ended up writing a book titled Noa Noa describing his experiences […]