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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
Like an obelisk: Nabi paintings of Jan Verkade
If some of the more prolific Nabis have become quite obscure, those who had brief artistic careers like Jan Verkade (1868–1946) have all but vanished. Known in the group as le nabi obéliscal (the obeliscal Nabi), he became a Benedictine monk in 1894 and was later ordained as a... Read more
József Rippl-Rónai 2: Father of modern Hungarian painting
Before the end of the nineteenth century, the Hungarian Nabi József Rippl-Rónai (1861–1927) returned to his native country, settling in his home town of Kaposvár by 1902. József Rippl-Rónai (1861–1927), Nice Landscape in the Pyrenees (1899), oil on cardboard, 69.5 x 99.5 cm, Ottó Herman Museum, Miskolc, Hungary. Wikimedia... 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
Favourite Paintings 7: Camille Pissarro, Setting Sun and Fog, Éragny, 1891
A simply golden landscape at sunset, by the central figure in Impressionism and father of Post-Impressionism. Painter Jacob Abraham Camille Pissarro Painting Setting Sun and Fog, Éragny Year 1891 Media oil on canvas Dimensions 54 x 65 cm (21.3 x 25.6 in) Collection Private collection The Painting Sunset behind... Read more
Favourite Paintings 9: Vincent van Gogh, Starry Night over the Rhône, 1888
This serene and startingly colourful nocturne took painting from the heights of Impressionism towards several radical movements of the twentieth century. Painter Vincent Willem van Gogh Painting Starry Night over the Rhône Year 1888 Media oil on canvas Dimensions 72.5 x 92 cm (28.5 x 36.2 in) Collection Musée... Read more
Favourite Paintings 11: John Singer Sargent, Dolce Far Niente, 1907
This startlingly realistic depiction of idle moments by the side of an alpine stream is composed of bravura brush strokes, dabs and daubs of bright colour. But it is a carefully contrived illusion, in every respect. Painter John Singer Sargent Painting Dolce Far Niente (Sweet Nothing, Pleasant Idleness) Year... Read more
Art promotion by the Bloomsbury Group: 2. Clive Bell and Significant Form
Roger Fry may have been the leading art historian, critic, and painter in the Bloomsbury group, but it was Clive Bell who laid down the aesthetic theory which underpinned the group’s thrust to change the direction of art in the twentieth century. Clive Bell (1850-1942) was born into a... Read more
Trees in the landscape: 9. Théo van Rysselberghe and vibrant pines
Now best known as a Neo- and Post-Impressionist figurative painter, Théo van Rysselberghe was a keen yachtsman, painter of coastal scenes, and painted quite a few trees in his landscapes too. Other Neo-Impressionists also painted trees, but van Rysselberghe was fortunate enough to paint through and after the First... Read more
Visible brushstrokes: 3. after 1865, and some puzzles
I here conclude my quest for an unofficial history of visible brushstrokes in paintings, in reaching Monet, other Impressionists, and Post-Impressionism. Last time I was surprised to find quite a painterly style in the late eighteenth century works of Francesco Guardi, saw abundant free brushstrokes in the sketches and... Read more