Category Archives: Art History

January 11

Alberto Giacometti: The Walking Man

On the 11th of January 1966, the Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti died in Chur, Switzerland. Born as the eldest son of Italian Protestant refugees, later favoured by his painter father, Giacometti was very fortunate with his upbringing. “I can’t imagine any happier childhood,” he said, “or youth than those I passed with my father and […]

January 06

Romanian and East European Modern Art

On the 6th of January 1868, the Romanian painter Stefan Luchian was born in Ștefănești, a village in Botoșani, Romania. When he was still young, he moved to Bucharest, where he trained under Nicolae Grigorescu at the National University of Art. He studied a short spell at the Munich Fine Arts Academy where he copied […]

January 01

Alfred Stieglitz: Sexism at the Heart of Modern Art?

On the 1st of January 1864, seminal photographer Alfred Stieglitz was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. Modern art historians believe that the equally prolific editor and art dealer did more than anyone else to bring European avant-garde art to the American public during the first two decades of the 20th century. The son of a […]

December 22

Jean-Étienne Liotard’s Soulful Portraits

Jean-Étienne Liotard (1702–1789) was born on the 22nd of December 1702 into a refugee French Protestant family living in Geneva. His father, Jean-Antoine Liotard, was from Montelimar and a merchant tailor by trade. In Geneva, Liotard trained with Gardelle and Petitot, skilfully copying their enamels and miniatures. In France, he was an apprentice to Massé and […]

December 14

Paths to Modernism: Puvis de Chavannes’ Murals

On  the 14th of December 1824, the Symbolist painter Pierre Puvis de Chavannes was born in Lyon, France. Considered a ‘painter’s painter’, he was a great influence on artists, amongst which Matisse and Picasso and universally popular in his time. “Virtually all the artists and critics of the day admired Puvis de Chavannes. His admirers […]

December 13

Wassily Kandinsky: Architect of the Future of Art

On the 13th of December 1944, Wassily Kandinsky, an influential Russian painter and art theorist, died in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. He has been credited with painting the first purely abstract work in the history of modern art. In the summer of 1922 he began teaching at the Bauhaus in Weimar, where in the same year he […]

November 10

The Lewd, the Crude and the Ugly: Epstein’s Sculpture

On the 10th of November 1880, sculptor Jacob Epstein was born in New York, yet he is best known as an English artist, having settled in Britain in 1905. As a Jewish American in Edwardian London working in a rough, stylised modernist manner, the critical reception of his work was far from friendly. Epstein has […]