Alfred Sisley: Matinée d’octobre près de Port-Marly (c1876)

“Painted following the First Impressionist Exhibition in April 1874—which had opened the eyes of the public to the revolutionary Impressionist aesthetic—and around the time of its second iteration which helped cement the validity of its new, modern terminology, Matinée d’octobre près de Port-Marly pays fitting homage to the movement’s pursuit of painting en plein air. Determined to capture…

Without Hands: Sarah Biffin II

Click here to listen to artist Alison Lapper and portrait miniatures specialist Emma Rutherford discussing the art of Sarah Biffin on the eve of the opening of “Without Hands”: The Art of Sarah Biffin. The exhibition is dedicated to the life and artistic achievemtns of this remarkable artist and is accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue as well…

Gerald Leslie Brockhurst: The War Widow (1923)

This painting was originally titled Andromache by the artist when it was painted in circa 1923 [fig. 1]. This initial title references the Greek princess recorded in Homer’s Iliad, who lost every male member of her family during the Trojan War. This portrait, painted in the aftermath of the Second World War, consequently assumes a…

Without Hands: Sarah Biffin I

“Made to accompany the exhibition “Without Hands”: The Art of Sarah Biffin (from 1 November until 21 December, 2022), this film traces the life and art of this remarkable artist and reveals how Philip Mould & Company weaved the pieces of her untold story. Sarah Biffin (1784-1850) is one of history’s most resolute, entrepreneurial, and…

Cyprien Katsaris: Schumann, Kinderszenen, Op. 15

0:09– From foreign Lands and People 2:11– Curious Story 3:09– Catch me if you can 3:38– Entreating Child 4:25– Perfect Happiness 5:48– An Important Event 6:40– Dreaming 9:33– By the Fireside 10:19– Knight of the Rocking-Horse 10:53– Almost too serious 12:40– Frightening 14:08– Child falling asleep 16:32– The Poet Speaks Hat Tip Many thanks to…

James Jebusa Shannon: The Flower Girl (1900)

“Painted while the artist and his family were on holiday at Eastbourne in 1900. The woman was a flower girl whom they met regularly every morning on their way down to the beach; she consented to sit to Shannon in her ordinary working clothes and is shown nursing her baby. The artist’s daughter Kitty (op….

George Clausen: Brown Eyes (1891)

“Clausen studied in France and painted open-air ‘rural naturalist’ subjects in an impressionist style. In 1886 he helped to found the New English Art Club as an alternative exhibition venue to the Royal Academy. This is a portrait of a local girl from the village of Cookham in Berkshire, where the artist was living. The…

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…

Hauser & Trotovsek: Passacaglia

“In many of his late paintings, Turner used vigorous brushstrokes and loosely defined forms to explore dramatic struggles between human beings and the elements. This work shows a storm raging in an English harbor town. Flares explode in the sky to alert ships to the location of shallow (shoal) water. On the shore huddled spectators…

Cedric Morris: May Flowering Irises No. 2 (1935)

“By 1935, when this work was painted, Morris’s fascination with irises had firmly taken hold. He established a studio in the garden where he would sit and paint his flower subjects for days on end, and one ex-student, Joan Warburton, poignantly reminisced how ‘to go in there quietly when Cedric was painting the favourite of…

Dame Laura Knight: The Fairgrounds, Penzance (c.1916)

Who Was Dame Laura Knight? Dame Laura Knight (1877-1970) was an English artist in the figurative, realist tradition who embraced English Impressionism. According to Tate.org “Influenced by Impressionism and the Newlyn School in Cornwall, Knight’s subject-matter is contemporary without being avant-garde. Dismissed by Modernists for her lack of interest in formal experiment, Knight’s insistent realism…