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Bicentenary of Gustave Courbet, a founding father of modern art
Two hundred years ago today, Gustave Courbet was born in the country town of Ornans in Doubs, in the north-east of France. His paintings were of great influence in the development of art throughout Europe and North America. In my recent series of six articles examining his career and... Read more
Corydon: 2 Shepherds from staffage to social symbol
The first part of this account of shepherds and shepherdesses in paintings looked at their role in stories, from the earliest classical myths to epic English poetry. This second and concluding article looks at paintings of shepherds in landscapes, and in their own right as the motif. Nicolas Poussin,... Read more
Corydon: 1 Stories of shepherds
However pastoral the landscape looks, life for the shepherd (and shepherdess) is seldom as peaceful as it’s made out to be. This weekend’s two articles look at the depiction of shepherds and shepherdesses in paintings. I start with their role in stories. Ever since the domestication of the sheep... Read more
Évariste Carpentier’s evolving art 1
In many cases, you get a misleading view of an artist’s work if you remove it from the context of their development over their career. This is most apparent in the late nineteenth century, where so many painters worked in academic style as students, and progressed through several other... Read more
A German Naturalist? Fritz von Uhde 2
By the late 1880s, the German painter Fritz von Uhde (1848–1911) had become overtly Naturalist in his themes and style, additionally painting several major religious works. Fritz von Uhde (1848–1911), The Sacred Night (Triptych) (1888-89), oil on canvas, 134.5 x 117 cm, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Dresden, Germany. Wikimedia Commons.... Read more
Carl Larsson: 1 Finding the idyllic family
Next week I will be commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the death of one of the twentieth century’s most popular artists, the Swedish painter Carl Larsson (1853-1919). From 1895 onwards, collections of his watercolours of life in his home were best-selling books throughout the Nordic countries and Germany. His... Read more
Beyond the French Impressionists: 6 Belgium, Émile Claus
Émile Claus (1849-1924) Born in 1849 to a large family in Sint-Eloois-Vijve, a village on the bank of the River Lys in West Flanders, Belgium, Claus showed early enthusiasm and ability at drawing. With the support of Peter Benoît, the Director of the Conservatoire there, he gained admission to... Read more
Beyond the French Impressionists: 15 Spain, Pinazo, Sorolla
Although Sorolla is by far the most famous of the ‘Spanish Impressionists’, he was not the only one. Most of the others seem to have faded into the mists of time, but I first briefly cover one of Sorolla’s teachers, Pinazo, for whom there are limited resources available. Ignacio... Read more
Into the light: George Clausen’s transformation
Read most art histories and you might come away with the impression that Western painting in the first few decades of the twentieth century was all about Cubism and other routes to Modernism. In fact there were still many fine and original paintings being produced by artists who preferred... Read more
Into the Light: Marianne Stokes, a major woman artist
Marianne Preindlsberger (1855-1927), better known under her married name of Marianne Stokes, was an accomplished painter before she met her husband Adrian Stokes, covered in the previous article. She was born in Graz, Austria, and in about 1870 studied at the Graz Drawing Academy, before moving to Munich in... Read more