Category Archives: Art History

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 […]

November 03

Matisse’s Joy of Life versus Picasso’s Fear of Death

On the 3rd of November 1954, Henri Matisse died in Niece, France. He was an exceptional artist with a unique and brave vision that allowed him to break away from all artistic conventions of his time. Yes, he did have a short liaison with Impressionism, but the impact of his later achievements on art could […]

November 01

The Cracking Story of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling

On the 1st of November 1512, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was first unveiled for public view. Michelangelo, and his five assistants, worked on this gigantic artistic enterprise for about four years, yet they managed to include three hundred and thirty-six figures on this 40.5-metre long and 14-metre wide ceiling. According to certain mathematical […]

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 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 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, […]