Rainstorm over the Sea by John Constable

Rainstorm over the sea1824-28Romanticism, LandscapeOil on paper laid on canvasLocation: Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK Rainstorm over the Sea is an oil sketch of Brighton Beach quickly painted to capture the turbulent feel of the advancing storm. It diverges from the strict documentation and accuracy of Constable’s earlier work and his paint surface is … Continue reading Rainstorm over the Sea by John Constable

Self Portrait as a Young Girl by Claude Cahun

Self Portrait as a Young Girl1914Modern PhotographyPhotographic printJersey Heritage, St Helier, Jersey One of the earliest known self-portraits by Cahun, the photograph displays an intensely, penetrating stare. The artist’s head is seemingly disembodied, suggesting an imbalance between head and body as though the head is too heavy making the body redundant. The abundant flowing hair … Continue reading Self Portrait as a Young Girl by Claude Cahun

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by Dorothea Tanning

A relatively early work by Tanning, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik is painted with figurative perfection and a looseness to Surrealists themes. Inspired by the Mozart’s composition of the same title the setting is a hallway of a large house or a hotel. The painting is a dreamy image of two young girls, one who has found a giant sunflower and the other with eyes closed holding one of the petals. Three doors are firmly closed whilst one is cracked to reveal a bright light...

Dedham Vale by John Constable

One of Constable’s first major paintings created when he was twenty-six between the end of the French revolutionary wars and the beginning of the Napoleonic wars. The tranquillity of the painting belies the wider political turmoil. Whilst Constable’s techniques were not yet fully developed the painting demonstrates his commitment to the close observation of nature. The viewer’s eye is led across the painting from the foreground along the river to the distant focal point of the distant tower of Dedham church.

Germania by Hans Haacke

Haacke invented modern activism as a political device for conceptual artists. Intervening through the space of a gallery or a museum his work decries the influence of corporations on society and the hypocrisy of liberal institutions that accept sponsorship from aggressive and conservative capitalists. His work challenges artwashing’s diversion from harmful practices of business es engaging in philanthropic engagement with art...

Baldassare Castiglione by Raphael

In 37 prolific years, Raphael’s passionate style blazed a trail of painting throughout the Italian high Renaissance. His skill in presenting his lust for life on to canvas translated into ideals of beauty were breathtakingly new. Raphael is considered to one of the holy trinity of master artists of the Renaissance, along with Da Vinci and Michelangelo...

Danae by Rembrandt

Rembrandt’s life and work were fuelled by an intense psychological study of people, objects, and their surroundings and a strong Christian devotion. Incredibly gifted, Rembrandt became a master of portraiture, historical, mythological, and biblical sense from a very young age. His techniques and use of materials was sensitive and spontaneous. His everchanging approach to colour, composition, and shadow produced powerfully moving and natural moments of the human existence. His mastery of light and texture emphasized emotional depth weaved a common theme through all his work confirming his status as one of art’s greatest and innovative masters...

Tempête en Jaune (Tempest in Yellow) by Dorothea Tanning

Art permeates through Tanning’s life; not only has her work become worthwhile art, her presence transformed photographs to make them more artistic. The spirals of energy that followed her as a person is also found in her brushstrokes. Her work evolved into abstraction and sculpture. The fold lines of fabric, linking the different phases, as cloth transforms depiction to media. In later years, she emerged as poet...

Untitled by Dora Maar

Maar was a talented photographer and made work that developed quickly from an acute poetic realism to Surrealist manipulations. She made images out of her own emotional interior and her desire to escape from it. Maar abandoned photography because Picasso insisted photographers were painters waiting to be released. Between 1935-45 she was in love with Picasso and became a muse for other artists as well as practicing painter herself. Maar suffered a breakdown after separating from Picasso and recovered through the help of Jacques Lacan, the famous psychiatrist. She moved from Paris to rural Provence and in later life painted abstract landscapes and melancholic still life. A recluse, she became a devoted Catholic. Living in the shadow of Picasso she never returned to photography, the medium which exulted her exquisite and unusual talent...

Vega III by Victor Vasarely

Vasarely’s work provides some of the most distinctive images and optical effects of the 20th century. He steered a unique course, combining virtuosic technical precision and geometrical effects. His work speaks quintessential with the concern of what is the difference between what we can see and what is really there...

Easter Morning by Maurice Denis

Unique amongst the avant-garde painters of the late 19th century, Denis combined commitment to formal and stylistic innovation with an equally profound sense of tradition in art, culture, and religion. His bright and vibrant paintings express a commitment to abstraction and a reliance on the inner life of the soul. Unlike his peers Denis a soul shaped by his faith which would also lead to activities such as church renovation and altarpiece design...

Barge Haulers on the Volga by Ilya Repin

One of the foremost advocates of naturalistic representation from any artistic era Repin defined essence of Russian Realism. From the humble beginnings of his birth he became an artist of bedazzling skill and insight, creating technically skilled work which conveyed a deep sensitivity to human emotion and suffering, and to historical and political events. Repin was committed to the spirit of the peasant class of his roots which allowed his art to be a humane social commentary. Despite being highly critical of Tsarist oppression his work brought him fame within state institutions. It is perhaps ironic that as an adopted patriarch of drab Social Realism the power of his work resonates much further than that milieu or any narrow context....

A 19 by László Moholy-Nagy

Maholy-Nagy was a painter, photographer, and a professor at the Bauhaus school. He was influenced by constructivism and an advocate of the integration of technology and industry into the arts. He collaborated works with other artists, including Lucia Maholy (his first wife), Marcek Breuer, Herbert Bayer, and Walter Gropius. However, his greatest accomplishment is the School of Design in Chicago, which is now part of the Illinois Institute of Technology...

Vitra Fire Station by Zaha Hadid

Hadid was an architect and the first woman to receive the acclaimed Pritzker Architecture Award. She received the prestigious Stirling Prize for Architecture in 2010 and 2011. She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 2012 for services to architecture. Hadid is the only woman to be awarded the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects...