Category Archives: Art

September 04

Victorian Idyllism and Social Realism in Lionel Smythe’s Art

On the 4th of September 1839, Royal Academician Lionel Percy Smythe, an English artist and etcher, was born in London. Smythe painted rural landscapes, genre and maritime scenes, people and animals in both oils and watercolours. He became associated with a group of artists called The Idyllic school (or the Idyllists), a 19th-century art movement […]

September 02

Welcome to the Jungle… The Mindscapes of Henri Rousseau

On the 2nd of September 1910, French Naïve painter Henri Rousseau died in Paris aged 66. A puzzling cult figure during his lifetime, Rousseau was very much a self-taught artist with a unique style, famous most of all for his visionary jungle scenes. The inspiration for his art seems to have come from various sources. […]

August 31

Helen Levitt’s Snapshots of New York Street Life

On the 31st of August 1913, American photographer Helen Levitt was born in Brooklyn, New York. Alongside Berenice Abbott and Ruth Orkin, Levitt tried to document the changing life of New York. But whilst Berenice Abbott sought to capture the architecture of New York before the skyscrapers changed the skyline forever, and Ruth Orkin was […]

August 29

En Pleine Mer… Zarh Pritchard’s Underwater Paintings

On the 29th of August 1956, British-American artist and the pioneer of underwater painting Zarh Pritchard died in Austin, Texas. ”Zarh Prichard was the first painter to compose based on observations en pleine mer. …In the 1910s and ‘20s, Pritchard’s works were internationally acclaimed as the first windows on the underwater frontier, and they were […]

August 26

Peggy Guggenheim: The Woman Behind the Art

On the 26th of August 1898, American matron and collector of the arts Peggy Guggenheim was born in New York. “Peggy Guggenheim was one of ten children-the second of three daughters-born to Benjamin Guggenheim and Florette Seligman, both second-generation members of German-Jewish families that had built their wealth in America. Two of her uncles, Solomon […]

August 24

Sixteenth-Century Feminist: Lavinia Fontana

 On the 24th of August 1552, Italian painter Lavinia Fontana was born in Bologna. She is considered the first ever woman artist to work within the same sphere as her male counterparts, independently and outside a royal court or convent. “The most significant and prolific female artist of the 16th century, Lavinia Fontana opened up opportunities […]

August 23

The Impermanence of Constructivist Sculpture: Naum Gabo

On the 23rd of August 1977, Russian Constructivist sculptor, and pioneer of Kinetic Art, Naum Gabo died in Waterbury, Connecticut. Whilst his real name was Naum Neemia Pevsner, he ended up changing it to avoid confusion with his brother and fellow Constructivist artist Antoine Pevsner. While visiting Pevsner in Paris in 1913–14, Gabo met the […]

August 22

Cartier-Bresson’s Street Photography: The Perfect Take

On the 22nd of August 1908, painter and pioneering photojournalist Henri Cartier-Bresson was born in Chanteloup-en-Brie, France. By self-admission, his first true love of photography was inspired by a 1930 photograph of Hungarian photojournalist Martin Munkacsi showing three naked young African boys, caught in near-silhouette, running into the surf of Lake Tanganyika. The picture captured the very essence […]

August 21

Apollinaire and the Theft of the Mona Lisa

On the 21st of August 1911, the most famous painting in the world, the Mona Lisa, was stolen from the Louvre. The absence of the painting was first noticed by the painter Louis Beroud, who in the morning of the 22nd of August made his way to the Salon Carré where the Mona Lisa had […]

August 20

Argentinian Social Realism: Pío Collivadino

On the 20th of August 1869, post-impressionist and social-realist painter Pío Collivadino was born in Buenos Aires. Trained at the Italian Argentine cultural society and the Societá Nazionale de Buenos Aires, he travelled to Rome in 1889, where two years later he became part of the Accademia di San Luca. After his return to Buenos […]