Category Archives: Art

August 18

The Art of Alfred Wallis, Naïve St Ives Genius

On the 18th of August 1855, fisherman and artist Alfred Wallis was born in Devonport, Devon, England. The son of Penzance parents, Alfred was an apprentice to a basketmaker before becoming a mariner in the merchant service by the early 1870s. He sailed on schooners across the North Atlantic between Penzance and Newfoundland. He married […]

August 14

Simeon Solomon, Infamous Jewish Pre-Raphaelite

On the 14th of August 1905, English Pre-Raphaelite painter Simeon Solomon died in London. He is famous for his dreamy paintings with subjects which often included scenes from the Hebrew Bible and genre paintings depicting Jewish life and rituals. Infamously, in 1873, at the age of 32, his career was cut short when he was […]

August 13

Gluck: Art, Cross Dressing and Women’s Emancipation

On the 13th of August 1895, British painter Hannah Gluckstein was born in London. She is best known by her self-given name, Gluck, chosen for the purpose of avoiding gender connotations. “The reason she gave for choosing to be known by this austere monosyllable was that the paintings mattered, not the sex of the painter.” (Diana Souhami, […]

August 12

Elizabeth Murray: Modernism Changing Shape

On the 12th of August 2007, American artist Elizabeth Murray died of cancer aged 66 in Washington county, N.Y. She was a painter, printmaker and draughtswoman and her works can be found in many major public collections, including those of the Guggenheim, the Hirshhorn, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney, the Art Institute of Chicago […]

August 11

Hans Memling: Flemish Painting and Optical Geometry

On the 11th of August 1494, German-born Flemish painter Hans Memling died in Bruges, the Netherlands, now Belgium. He was apparently first schooled in art in Cologne and then travelled to the Netherlands (c. 1455-60), where he supposedly trained in the workshop of the painter Rogier van der Weyden. He settled in Bruges in 1465, where he […]

August 09

Jan Sawka: Political Posters and the Polish Solidarity Movement

On the 9th of August 2012, Polish painter, printmaker, graphic artist, set designer and architect Jan Sawka died in his home in High Falls, New York. Jan Sawka was the son of an architect father and linguist mother.  His childhood was overshadowed by his father’s Stalin-era political imprisonment.  Sawka completed two Master degrees:  in Painting and Printmaking, from […]

August 08

James Tissot – Visual Notes of a Victorian Dandy

On the 8th of August 1902, French Victorian portrait painter, engraver, and enameler, James Tissot, died in Buillon Abbey, near Besançon, France. “After receiving a religious education, Tissot went to Paris at age 19 to study art. In 1859 he exhibited at the Salon. Turning from his rather anguished early works to modern genre paintings […]

August 06

Vajda Lajos: A Hungarian Modernist

On the 6th of August 1908, artist Lajos Vajda was born in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary. He was the youngest child born into a poor Jewish family of five. In 1916, his father moved the family to Serbia in search of a better life. Here the young Lajos came into contact with religious Byzantine-Orthodox art for the […]

August 04

Hedda Sterne: Against the Abstract Expressionist Tide

On the 4th of August 1910, Romanian-Jewish artist Hedda Sterne was born as Hedwig Lindenberg in Bucharest. Sterne is remembered as the only woman present in the Life magazine “Irascibles” photograph taken by Nina Leen in New York on the 24th of November 1950. The article in which the picture appeared documented the Abstract Expressionists’ […]

August 02

Thomas Gainsborough’s ‘Showbox’ Paintings

On the 2nd of August 1788, English painter Thomas Gainsborough died in London at the age of 61. One of the most unusual artworks created by the artist, now on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, is his experimental showbox with his back-lit landscapes painted in oils on glass, which allowed them to be […]