Category Archives: Art History

March 17

Harry Clarke: The Master of Stained Glass

On the 17th of March 1889, Harry Clarke, an Irish stained glass artist and book illustrator, was born in Dublin, Ireland. The second son of Joshua Clarke and Brigid McGonigle, he was remarkable already as a child for his extraordinary individuality and intelligence. After attending several schools, including the Model Schools in Marlborough Street, he […]

March 16

The Matriarchal Reign of Artist Rosa Bonheur

On the 16th of March 1822, French painter and sculptor Marie-Rosalie Bonheur was born in Bordeaux, Gironde, as the oldest child in a family of artists. A feisty, ambitious woman, Bonheur achieved more than most of her female contemporaries could ever dream of. During a time when the Napoleonic Codes limited French women to access […]

March 14

Parallelism in Ferdinand Hodler’s Symbolist Painting

On the 14th March 1853, Swiss painter Ferdinand Hodler was born in Gürzelen, canton of Berne. Hodler’s friend, Symbolist poet Louis Duchosal described him as “a mystic and a realist, a duality which disconcerts and disorients …. He excels in rendering the things of the past or of the dream and the realities of life.” […]

March 13

The Mystery of ‘The Fortune Teller’ by Georges de la Tour

On the 13th of March 1593, the French Baroque painter Georges de la Tour was born in the town of Vic-sur-Seuille, a few miles from Nancy, France. In 1620, when he was already a practicing painter, he moved to Lunéville, Lorraine, an independent duchy between north-east France and the German states. That is where he […]

March 05

Durant Sihlali: Art and Apartheid

On the 5th of March 1935, the South African artist Durant Sihlali was born in Germiston, South Africa. He was “one of the few living South African artists whose career coincided with the entrenchment of formal apartheid (c. 1948), the formation of the “white” Republic of South Africa in 1962, the long years of apartheid repression […]

February 23

Malevich, Suprematism and the ‘Black Square’

On the 23rd of February 1878, the Russian painter Kazimir Malevich was born in the Kiev Governorate of the Russian Empire (now Ukraine), to parents of Polish descent. In terms of his influence on the development of modern art, he can be placed alongside such ground-breaking artists as Picasso, Matisse and Duchamp. Between 1895 and […]

February 19

“Blue is Darkness Made Visible”: Derek Jarman’s Descent into Death

Today is the 20th anniversary of the death of English film director, stage designer, artist, gardener, author, and active advocate for gay rights, Derek Jarman. Considered one of Europe’s greatest independent film-makers, he died on the 19th of February 1994, after a six-year battle with AIDS.  In his films Jubilee (1977) – arguably the first […]