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The Dutch Nabi: Meijer de Haan
At around 0300 on 16 October 2012, thieves broke into the Kunsthal in Rotterdam and made off with a small haul of modern masters. A couple of Monet’s paintings of London, one each by Picasso, Matisse, Gauguin, and Lucian Freud. The fate of those paintings remains unknown, although the... Read more
The First Impressionist? Johan Jongkind’s Bicentenary – first period in France
Four great painters who are candidates for the role of First Impressionist, before Monet, Pissarro, Renoir and the rest of the core members of the movement in France, include: Camille Corot (1796-1875), the major landscape painter who was ‘father’ to the movement, Johan Barthold Jongkind (1819–1891), whose painterly landscapes... Read more
Gustave Courbet 2: The group
Before the young Gustave Courbet (1819–1877) had even completed The Stone Breakers, he had already started work on an even greater masterpiece, A Burial at Ornans, one of the canonical paintings of the century. Gustave Courbet (1819–1877), A Burial at Ornans (1849-50), oil on canvas, 315 x 668 cm,... Read more
Gustave Courbet 1: The Desperate Man
Among the immediate precursors to the great art movements of the late nineteenth century, Naturalism and Impressionism, were Eugène Delacroix, Camille Corot, and Gustave Courbet (1819–1877). In a month’s time, we’ll be celebrating the bicentenary of Courbet’s birth, and I hope that you’ll join me in this short series... Read more
Évariste Carpentier’s evolving art 2
By the end of the 1880s, the Belgian painter Évariste Carpentier (1845–1922) was painting Naturalist works inspired by Jules Bastien-Lepage, showing rural deprivation. Évariste Carpentier (1845–1922), After Work (c 1890), oil on canvas, 90 x 130 cm, Private collection. Wikimedia Commons. During the 1890s, with Naturalism more generally on... Read more
The only Austrian Impressionist: Theodor von Hörmann
Impressionism reached across the whole world, as far as Japan and Australia, but I can’t think of many Austrian Impressionists. One of the few – perhaps the only one – was Theodor von Hörmann von Hörbach (1840–1895). He didn’t paint seriously until quite late in life: he served his... Read more
The perfect landscapes of Emilie Mediz-Pelikan
Some landscape artists created truly wonderful paintings which have now been all but forgotten. Today, I will look at the few works that I can find by the Austrian Emilie Mediz-Pelikan (1861–1908). Tomorrow I will look at a slightly earlier landscape painter from Austria, Theodor Hörmann von Hörbach, and... Read more
The last few years have seen a surge in the development of online catalogues raisonnés, in which the complete works of an artist are meticulously documented. Over the last five years or so, Walter Feilchenfeldt, Jayne Warman, David Nash and others have been working on that for Paul Cézanne.... Read more
Painting Reality: 7 Decline
As the nineteenth century drew to a close, Naturalist painting fell from favour. By the opening years of the new century, it was all but dead, and the few remaining Naturalists were shunned and scorned for not moving with the times. This article looks at what happened, and why... Read more
Truth in (landscape) painting 2
Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894) was a pioneer scientist and polymath who had great influence over nineteenth century research and ideas in medicine, physiology, physics, psychology, philosophy, and aesthetics. Of relevance to painting is his work on visual perception, colour vision in particular, and optical aspects of painting. The latter... Read more