Category Archives: Painting

April 05

The Art of Swinging According to Jean-Honoré Fragonard

  On the 5th of April 1732, the French painter and printmaker Jean-Honoré Fragonard was born in Grasse, France. He was one of the greatest French painters in the two brilliant and productive pre-Revolution decades; although, due to his highly individual style, he was officially less recognised than, for example, his teacher, Boucher. In his […]

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 […]

February 08

Inverting the Female Nude: Paula Modersohn-Becker

On the 8th of February 1876, German Expressionist artist Paula Modersohn-Becker, the first recognised European modern female artist to paint the female nude, was born in Dresden-Friedrichstadt, Germany. Becker grew up in a well-to-do, cultured family in Dresden, was privately art tutored in Worpswede, London, Bremen and at the Académie Colarossi in Paris, trained under […]

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 […]

December 11

Art and Insanity: Séraphine Louis, Naïve Genius

On the 11th of December 1942, a naïve painter, Séraphine Louis, also known as “Séraphine de Senlis“, died in a Villers-sous-Erquery hospital in northern France, although according to her mentor, Wilhelm Uhde, she died at Clermont’s lunatic asylum in 1934. It is questionable then whether Uhde wanted to withdraw from being associated with the mentally ill painter or […]

November 19

Nicolas Poussin: The Master of Intellect

On the 19th of November 1665, Nicolas Poussin, aged seventy one, died in Rome. He was buried in the church of San Lorenzo in Lucina, and in 1830 was commemorated with a monument donated by Chateaubriand. Despite the fact that most of his working life was spent in Italy, Poussin is considered the leading painter […]

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 […]