Challenge Accepted

Even among the most discreet out there, one of the perks of knowing about art is knowing you know about art. This often involves cluing others into your vast stores of knowledge —  humourously by dropping the casual “if it ain’t baroque, don’t fix it” pun and sending classical art snaps, and like a bludgeon by…

Paint It Black

It turns out Picasso wasn’t the only heavy-weight painter whose work took a dour turn when personal anguish presented itself. In fact, one of his first great (platonic) muses did too — Paul Cézanne. Yet to understand what made Paul sad for a spell requires rewinding a ways. Cézanne was born in 1839 in southern France, Aix-en-Provence…

Ever Inspiring Autumn

Summer’s tapping out for another turn around the sun, and Autumn is poised to have its way with us. Maybe the weeks directly leading up to Winter’s freezing over of city pavements and inner hopes aren’t your thing, but I happen to fancy the mutable, wistful moments of Fall. There’s a sort of fuzzily charged magic…

Mamma Mia!

No sacrilege intended, but there’s some good sport to be had in museums’ Medieval collections, innocently enough poking fun at the grisly visages of thirteenth-century Virgins and Christ Children… the ones turned out before the naturalism seeking libertarians of the Renaissance started grappling with the subject. Rather than cherubic, Dark Age Baby Jesus often looks…

Studying Abroad

There are many reasons why people would want to leave their own home to travel somewhere new. Many wander elsewhere for leisure or business purposes, but how much tourism is undertaken for an educational experience? (Those wild semesters spent in Barthelona surely can’t all count.) At the start of the 18th century, young Englishmen would set…

Paul Gauguin's Tahitian Dream

Don’t let that halo fool you. Post-Impressionist Paul Gauguin may have mastered the art of primitivism, been a key influence in the symbolist movement and paved the way for the Synthetist style in modern art… yet this predominant painter’s road to presumably calculated artistic legend was paved with controversy. It seems Gauguin’s art will always…

Loving Vincent

BY TESSA SINCLAIR / Happy tidings for movie buffs and the artily inclined both: Loving Vincent, the world’s first oil painted feature-length film about a certain Dutchman named Van Gogh has been slated for release this autumn. While us UK lot will have to wait until 13 October for the ball to drop, Vincent’s fangirls…

Failed and Aspiring Artists You Already Know

George W. Bush “People are surprised. Of course, some people are surprised I can even read.”  One eminent bloke with dubious leadership skills and questionable artistic talents is none other than Dubyuh himself;  forty-third president of the United States of America, diplomatic dynamo and defender of freedom who nearly choked to death on a salted pretzel–George W. Bush.…

Félix Ziem

Félix Ziem, a bit lesser known Pre-Impressionist and Orientalist, was born on 26 February 1821 in Beaune, on France’s Côte-d’Or. He was the son of a Croatian father and bourguignonne mother who recognised their son’s early artistic prowess and ensured he was enrolled in l’École d’Architecture et des Beaux-Arts in Dijon. At the fresh age of twenty he…

Audibly Inspiring

The places where culture converges are some of the loveliest around, for all the senses. So join me below as I dash through a pared down list of remarkable paintings and drawings that acted as muses for classical composers and creatives of a more melodious sort than their paint-flinging brethren. You’ll see, and hear, that…