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William Blake – Poet, Painter, Visionary

William Blake – Poet, Painter, Visionary

On November 28, 1757, English poet, painter, and printmaker William Blake was born. Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual art of the Romantic Age. Both his artistic and literary works were largely rejected by his contemporaries. It was not until the mid-19th century that his very innovative works were discovered by the Pre-Raphaelites, gained general recognition, and later became popular in pop culture.…
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Sarah Bernhardt – the First World Star

Sarah Bernhardt – the First World Star

On October 22 (or 23), 1844, French stage actress Sarah Bernhardt was born. She is considered the most famous actress of her time and was one of the first world stars. “Once the curtain is raised, the actor ceases to belong to himself. He belongs to his character, to his author, to his public.” – Sarah Bernhardt, as quoted in The Art of the Theatre (1925), p. 171 Sarah Bernhardt – Early Years…
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Arnold Böcklin – Swiss Symbolism and Décadence

Arnold Böcklin – Swiss Symbolism and Décadence

On October 16, 1827, Swiss symbolist painter Arnold Böcklin was born. He is considered one of the most important visual artists of the 19th century in Europe. Böcklin was one of the main representatives of German Symbolism, which broke with the dominant academic painting and the prevailing naturalism of the second half of the 19th century. “Portraiture is the most miserable genre of painting, because in it the artist is most bound.” –…
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Pieter Brueghel the Elder and the Dutch Golden Age of Painting

Pieter Brueghel the Elder and the Dutch Golden Age of Painting

On September 9, 1569, Flemish painter Pieter Brueghel the Elder passed away. He was the most significant artist of Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting, a painter and printmaker, known for his landscapes and peasant scenes. He is sometimes referred to as “Peasant Bruegel“, to distinguish him from the many later painters in his family, including his son Pieter Brueghel the Younger (1564–1638).[1] Pieter Brueghel the Elder – Background Little is known with…
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Jacques-Louis David’s History Paintings

Jacques-Louis David’s History Paintings

On August 30, 1748, influential French painter in the Neoclassical style Jacques-Louis David was born. He is considered to be the preeminent painter of the era. In the 1780s his cerebral brand of history painting marked a change in taste away from Rococo frivolity toward a classical austerity and severity. “I want my works to bear the character of antiquity, so much so that, if it were possible for an Athenian to…
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Man Ray and The Dadaistic Art of Photography

Man Ray and The Dadaistic Art of Photography

On August 27, 1890, American modernist artist and photographer Emmanuel Radnitzky was born, better known as Man Ray. A significant contributor to the Dadaist and Surrealist movement, Man Ray produced major works in a variety of media but considered himself a painter above all. He was best known for his photography, and he was a renowned fashion and portrait photographer. “I have been accused of being a joker. But the most successful…
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Fantastic Beasts of Hieronymus Bosch – and where to find them…

Fantastic Beasts of Hieronymus Bosch – and where to find them…

On 9 August 1516, Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch was buried. One of the most notable representatives of the Early Netherlandish painting school, his work, generally oil on oak wood, mainly contains fantastic illustrations of religious concepts and narratives. Today, Bosch is seen as a hugely individualistic painter with deep insight into humanity’s desires and deepest fears. Hieronymus Bosch – Background Hieronymus Bosch came from the painter family “van Aken”, whose name of…
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Art and Propaganda – the Degenerate Art Exhibition of 1937

Art and Propaganda – the Degenerate Art Exhibition of 1937

On July 19, 1937, the Degenerate Art Exhibition (German: Die Ausstellung “Entartete Kunst“) was opened in the Institute of Archeology in the Munich Hofgarten. The exhibition presented 650 works of art, confiscated from German museums, and was staged in counterpoint to the concurrent Great German Art Exhibition. The exhibition included works of Marc Chagall, Wassily Kandinsky, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Klee, Franz Marc, and Emil Nolde.[3,4,6,7,8] It was not a singular event in…
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Gustav Klimt and the Vienna Secession

Gustav Klimt and the Vienna Secession

On July 14, 1862, Austrian painter Gustav Klimt was born. Klimt is considered the most famous representative of Viennese Art Nouveau and founding president of the Vienna Secession. He noted for his paintings, murals, sketches, and other objects d’art. Klimt’s primary subject was the female body, and his works are marked by a frank eroticism. Klimt was the most influenced by Japanese art and its methods. Gustav Klimt – The Artists Early…
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John Constable and The Art of Lanscape Painting

John Constable and The Art of Lanscape Painting

On June 11, 1776, English landscape painter in the Romantic tradition John Constable was born. Constable is known principally for revolutionising the genre of landscape painting with his pictures of Dedham Vale, the area surrounding his home – now known as “Constable Country”. His work lives from the tension between close observation of nature (e.g., studies of the sky and clouds) and the neglect of line in favor of the color effect.…
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