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The Collages of Kurt Schwitters

The Collages of Kurt Schwitters

On June 20, 1887, German artist Kurt Hermann Eduard Karl Julius Schwitters, known as Kurt Schwitters was born. Schwitters worked in several genres and media, including Dadaism, Constructivism, Surrealism, poetry, sound, painting, sculpture, graphic design, typography, and what came to be known as installation art. He is most famous for his collages, called Merz Pictures. Kurt Schwitters was born in Hanover, Germany, the only child of Eduard Schwitters, the (co-)proprietor…
John Henry Pepper and Pepper’s Ghost

John Henry Pepper and Pepper’s Ghost

On June 17, 1821, British inventor John Henry Pepper was born. Pepper is primarily remembered for developing the projection technique known as Pepper’s ghost, building a large-scale version of the concept by Henry Dircks. Furthermore, he toured the English-speaking world with his scientific demonstrations. He also entertained the public, royalty, and fellow scientists with a wide range of technological innovations. John Henry Pepper was highly influenced by the teachings of…
Gustave Courbet and French Realism

Gustave Courbet and French Realism

On June 10, 1819, French painter Jean Désiré Gustave Courbet was born, who led the Realism movement in 19th-century French painting. Committed to painting only what he could see, he rejected academic convention and the Romanticism of the previous generation of visual artists. Gustave Courbet was born in in Ornans, a village in the Franche-Comté in eastern France, to Régis and Sylvie Oudot Courbet, a prosperous farming family with anti-monarchical…
Thomas Gainsborough and the British Landscape School

Thomas Gainsborough and the British Landscape School

On May 14, 1727, English portrait and landscape painter, draughtsman, and printmaker Thomas Gainsborough was baptized. Gainsborough became the dominant British portraitist of the second half of the 18th century. He painted quickly, and the works of his maturity are characterised by a light palette and easy strokes. He preferred landscapes to portraits, and is credited as one of the originator of the 18th-century British landscape school. Thomas Gainsborough probably…
Raphael and the School of Athens

Raphael and the School of Athens

On March 28 or April 6, 1483, Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, known as Raphael was born. His work is admired for its clarity of form, ease of composition, and visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period. Raphael was born in the small…
Michelangelo Buonarotti – the Renaissance Artist

Michelangelo Buonarotti – the Renaissance Artist

On March 6, 1475, Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet of the High Renaissance Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was born. Michelangelo exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art. He is considered to be the greatest living artist during his lifetime, he has since been described as one of the greatest artists of all time. Despite making few forays beyond the arts, his versatility in the disciplines…
Robert Hope-Jones and the Theatre Organ

Robert Hope-Jones and the Theatre Organ

On February 9, 1859, British instrument maker Robert Hope-Jones was born. Hope-Jones is considered to be the inventor of the theatre organ in the early 20th century. He thought that a pipe organ should be able to imitate the instruments of an orchestra, and that the console should be detachable from the organ. Robert Hope-Jones learned to play the organ in his early childhood and when he turned 9 years old,…
The Mobiles of Alexander Calder

The Mobiles of Alexander Calder

On November 11, 1976, American sculptor Alexander Calder passed away. Calder is known as the originator of the mobile, a type of moving sculpture made with delicately balanced or suspended shapes that move in response to touch or air currents. Calder’s monumental stationary sculptures are called stabiles. He also produced wire figures, which are like drawings made in space, and notably a miniature circus work that was performed by the artist.…
Lucas Cranach the Elder

Lucas Cranach the Elder

On October 16, 1553, German Renaissance painter and printmaker in woodcut and engraving Lucas Cranach the Elder passed away. Cranach is known for his portraits, both of German princes and those of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation, whose cause he embraced with enthusiasm, becoming a close friend of Martin Luther. Lucas Cranach the Elder has been considered the most successful German artist of his time. Lucas Cranach was born at…
Josiah Wedgwood and his Pottery Company

Josiah Wedgwood and his Pottery Company

On July 12, 1730, English potter and founder of the eponymous company Josiah Wedgwood was born. Wedgwood is credited with the industrialisation of the manufacture of pottery. Every new invention that Wedgwood produced – green glaze, creamware, black basalt and jasper – was quickly copied. Having once achieved perfection in production, he achieved perfection in sales and distribution. We had already featured the (re-)discovery of the art of making porcelain…
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