Vincent van Gogh: Pietà (after Delacroix) 1889

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, September 1889 In the Autumn of 1889, Vincent remains ill. Consoling himself by copying works from some of his favorite artists, Vincent works in a small studio in the asylum of Saint Paul of Mausole in Saint Remy de Provence as he recovers from a prolonged episode of mental illness. To Theo, his brother,…

Habiballah of Sava: Language of the Birds (ca. 1600)

“Language of the Birds” – 12th Century Language of the Birds (Persian: منطق الطیر‎, Manṭiq-uṭ-Ṭayr, also known as مقامات الطیور Maqāmāt-uṭ-Ṭuyūr; 1177), is a mystical twelfth century Persian literary masterpiece by poet Farid ud-Din Attarin, commonly known as Attar of Nishapur. The poem title, which is in Arabic, is taken directly from the Qur’an, 27:16,…

Pierre Bonnard: The Croquet Game (1892)

The Game of Croquet is one of the first works by Pierre Bonnard, one of the founders of the Nabi group in 1888. It was exhibited in 1892 at the Salon des Indépendants under the title Twilight. The painting shows the garden of the family home, at Le Grand-Lemps, in Isère…The subject of the painting…

Tamara Natalie Madden: “Out of Many, One People”

Though Tamara Natalie Madden was born in Kingston, Jamaica, she spent her teenage years in Madison, Wisconsin. Born with dark skin to a mother with light skin, Ms. Madden observed endemic racist behavior from people of color, both in Jamaica and in the United States – based solely on the degree of darkness of skin;…

Isobel Lilian Gloag: Four Corners to my Bed

  ‘Four corners to my bed Four angels round my head Matthew, Mark, Luke & John Bless the bed that I lie on’ What Does This Mean? James Greig explains this rhyme in his essay “Isobel Lilian Gloag and Her Work“,  published in The Magazine of Art, Volume 26 in 1902: ” [This] is a…

Edgar Degas: The Singer in Green (c.1884)

A sale catalogue in 1898 described the dancer pictured in Edgar Degas’ pastel, The Singer in Green: “Skinny and with the graceful moves of a little monkey, she has just sung her ribald verses and, with a gesture that conceals an entreaty behind her smile, is inviting applause.” With her small eyes, high cheeks, and…

Edgar Degas: The Ballet Class (1871-1874)

“Compared to the other Impressionists, Edgar Degas was more of a traditionalist. The Frenchman didn’t paint en plein air, his color palette was subdued for much of his career and his spontaneity was painstakingly rehearsed. With a fascination for human anatomy reminiscent of Leonardo da Vinci, he would do countless studies for one single painting….

Lilian Westcott Hale: ‘Floretta’

‘Floretta’, or ‘Portrait of Agnes Doggett’ A member of the Boston School of Impressionists, Hale focused on capturing the diffusion of natural light in domestic interior scenes and portraits of women in elaborate dress. Here the sitter is Agnes Doggett, a neighbor who frequently posed as a model for Hale—at twenty-five cents an hour, to…

Bibi Zogbé: Untitled (1936)

Charles Corm (1894-1963), a Lebanese writer, said about Bibi’s hidden world behind her flowers: “Each one of Bibi flowers seems a naked soul, tormented by passion, sobbing with delight, tensed to the extreme, reaching towards infinity.” Dalloul Art Foundation, quoting from [8] Zoghbé, Bibi., and Charles. Corm. Bibi Zogbé. Les Peintres Du Liban ; Premier…

Nikolai Tarkhov: Les Bretonnes

The ‘Moscow Parisian’ “Brittany’s rich heritage and traditional ways of life inspired many of Paris’ best-known artists, from Corot to Monet, Gauguin and Matisse. The advance of Impressionism, in particular, resulted in a surge of interest among artists eager to paint en plein air within reach of the French capital. This important early work by the…

Henri Lebasque: Marthe et Pierre Lebasque dans un intérieur, (1913-14)

Painter of ‘Joy and Light’ Painted in 1913-1914, Marthe et Pierre Lebasque dans un intérieur by Henri Lebasque continues his theme of painting interiors, often including his own family members. This painting depicts Lebasque’s children Marthe and Pierre. As Lisa Banner observes, ‘Intimism, a term which best describes Lebasque’s painting, refers to the close domestic subject…