art

The Paris Salon des Refusés of 1863

The Paris Salon des Refusés of 1863

On May 15, 1863, the Salon des Refusés in Paris was opened, an exhibition of works rejected by the jury of the official Paris Salon. In 1863 the Salon jury refused two thirds of the paintings presented, including the works of Gustave Courbet, Édouard Manet, Camille Pissaro and Johan Jongkind, marking the birth of the avant-garde. Upon the protest of the artists, emperor Napoleon III decided to let the public judge and…
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Thomas Wedgwood – possibly the First Photographer

Thomas Wedgwood – possibly the First Photographer

On May 14, 1771, early experimenter in the field of photography Thomas Wedgwood was born. He is the first person known to have thought of creating impermanent pictures by capturing camera images on material coated with a light-sensitive chemical. His practical experiments yielded only shadow image photograms that were not light-fast, but his conceptual breakthrough and partial success have led some historians to call him “the first photographer”. Thomas Wedgwood – Early…
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Leonardo Da Vinci – the Prototype of a Renaissance Man

Leonardo Da Vinci – the Prototype of a Renaissance Man

On May 2, 1519, Italian Renaissance polymath Leonardo da Vinci passed away. Leonardo’s areas of interest included invention, painting, sculpting, architecture, science, music, mathematics, engineering, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, writing, history, and cartography. He has been variously called the father of paleontology, ichnology, and architecture, and is widely considered one of the greatest painters of all time. “Painting is poetry which is seen and not heard, and poetry is a painting…
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William Turner – Romantic Preface to Impressionism

William Turner – Romantic Preface to Impressionism

Probably on April 23, 1775, (and baptized May 14, 1775) English Romanticist landscape painter Joseph Mallord William Turner was born. Turner was considered a controversial figure in his day, but is now regarded as the artist who elevated landscape painting to an eminence rivalling history painting. Although renowned for his oil paintings, Turner is also one of the greatest masters of British watercolour landscape painting commonly known as “the painter of light“. His…
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Jacopo Peri and the Birth of Early Opera

Jacopo Peri and the Birth of Early Opera

On October 6, 1600, Jacopo Peri‘s opera Euridice was performed for the first time, being created for the marriage of King Henry IV of France and Maria de Medici. The composition is typically considered to be the second work of modern opera, and the first such musical drama to survive to the present day. “To hear him sing his works composed with excellent skill… induced every heart of stone to tears.” –…
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Jacques-Louis Davids History Paintings

Jacques-Louis Davids 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. Early years David was born in the year when new excavations at the ash-buried ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum were beginning to…
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The Art Hitler Hated – the Degenerate Art Exhibition of 1937

The Art Hitler Hated – 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] As Adolf Hitler gained power in…
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Francesco Scipione, Marchese di Maffei – Writer, Antiquarian, and Art Critic

Francesco Scipione, Marchese di Maffei – Writer, Antiquarian, and Art Critic

On June 1, 1675, Italian writer and art critic, author, antiquarian and humanist Francesco Scipione, marchese di Maffei was born. His publications on Etruscan antiquities stand as incunabula of Etruscology, he engaged in running skirmishes in print with his rival in the field of antiquities, Antonio Francesco Gori. “The subject of a Tragedy is like that of a Chart, which gives rise to infinite different thoughts” – Francesco Scipione, marchese di Maffei Marchese…
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The fantastic Illustrations of Gustave Doré

The fantastic Illustrations of Gustave Doré

On January 6, 1832, French artist, printmaker, illustrator and sculptor Gustave Doré was born. Doré is primarily known for his wood engravings and illustrations of literary works such as Dante’s inferno, Milton’s Paradise Lost, Cervantes’ Don Quixote or the Bible. Gustave Dorè – the Boy Genius Gustave Doré was born in Strasbourg, France, the son of Pierre Louis Christophe Doré, engineer of the Ponts et Chaussées, and of Alexandrine Marie Anne Pluchart.…
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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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