Niagara by George Inness

Niagara by George Inness Niagara1889NaturalismOil on canvasSmithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., USA A bold work symbolising a stylistic departure for Inness. Niagara is a return to the themes of the great American landscapists, but unlike Frederic Church’s mesmeric hypernaturalism of the Niagara Falls, Inness expresses the power and noise of the falls through expressive … Continue reading Niagara by George Inness

Second Binding by Mierle Laderman Ukeles

Second Binding1964Conceptual Art, Feminist ArtCheesecloth stuffed with rags and newspaper, dye, and aluminium foil on canvasJewish Museum, New York, USA An early sculptural work composed of a mass of wrapped, bulbous, stuffed forms dyed black, orange, red, brown and yellow, Second Binding, appears organic and fleshy. One of several sculptural creations created by Ukeles while … Continue reading Second Binding by Mierle Laderman Ukeles

Madonna and Child with Saint Martina and Saint Agnes by El Greco

Madonna and Child with Saint Martina and Saint Agnes by El Greco Madonna and Child with Saint Martina and Saint Agnes1597-99MannerismOil on canvasThe National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., USA A depiction of Mary and the infant Christ seated on clouds in heaven, Madonna and Child with Saint Martina and Saint Agnes is a large-scale … Continue reading Madonna and Child with Saint Martina and Saint Agnes by El Greco

Peasants Dancing by Natalia Goncharova

Peasants Dancing by Natalia Goncharova Peasants Dancing1910 - 11Neo-PrimitiveOil on canvasNational Gallery of Art, Sydney Australia Peasants Dancing depicts two men and women dancing a Khorovod on the green earth with a backdrop of a dark blue sky. The painting is one of The Vintage composition in Nine Parts depicting the grape harvest. The series … Continue reading Peasants Dancing by Natalia Goncharova

Rest Energy by Marina Abramovic

https://youtu.be/0VEHsUlJiBw Rest Energy1980Performance ArtBow and arrow At only four minutes and ten seconds long, Rest Energy is so highly intense that reveals the fragility of the line between life and death. Facing each other, Ulay aims an arrow on a tensioned bow just inches from Abramovic’s heart. Small microphones placed on their chests make their … Continue reading Rest Energy by Marina Abramovic

La Toilette by Edgar Degas

La Toilette1884-86ImpressionismPastel on paperPushkin Museum, Moscow, Russia Somewhat typical of Degas’ myriad of nudes, and typical of the stylistics that made his body of work controversial, La Toilette demonstrates Degas’ tendency to capture the figure from behind, revealing only a fragment of the figure suggesting the whole. The placement of the subject in shallow space … Continue reading La Toilette by Edgar Degas

Guangzhou Opera House by Zaha Hadid

Guangzhou Opera House by Zaha Hadid Guangzhou Opera House2003-10StarchitectureGuangzhou, China Hadid’s first project in China, the Guangzhou Opera House was a result of her success in a design competition. A 1800-seat theatre, 400-seat multifunctional hall, rehearsal rooms, and an entrance hall are contained in the structure of folded glass and polished granite. Hadid likened the … Continue reading Guangzhou Opera House by Zaha Hadid

Forest of Fontainebleau by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

Forest of Fontainebleau by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot Forest of Fontainebleau1846NeoclassicismOil on canvasMuseum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA Corot’s tranquil depiction of the Forest of Fontainebleau is complete with bovine inhabitants and a cowherd in the distance as he leads the herd to water. At first glance the painting appears to have been composed on location, but … Continue reading Forest of Fontainebleau by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

Nude Descending a Staircase by Marcel Duchamp

Nude Descending A Staircase by Marcel Duchamp Nude Descending A Staircase1912SurrealismOil on canvasPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Collection of Louise and Walter Arenberg, USA The painting met with an unfavourable response at the Salon des Indépendants, dominated by Cubist avant-garde who objected to its Futurist leanings. However, it enjoyed a succes de scandale at the Armory … Continue reading Nude Descending a Staircase by Marcel Duchamp

Noyer Indifférent by Yves Tanguy

Noyer Indifférent by Yves Tanguy Noyer Indifférent1929SurrealismOil on canvasPrivately owned The provenance of Noyer Indifférent exemplifies the reciprocal play between Surrealism and psychoanalysis. Freud’s protégé, Carl Jung, an important influence on the Surrealists, purchased the work in 1929, when Tanguy was barely known. Jung described the painting as an archetypal sign of the heavens connecting … Continue reading Noyer Indifférent by Yves Tanguy

Disputation of the Holy Sacrament by Raphael

Disputation of the Holy Sacrament by Raphael Disputation of the Holy Sacrament1510High RenaissanceFrescoApostolic Palace, Vatican City This fresco in the Apostolic Palace is one of four paintings in the room which separately portray philosophy, poetry, theology, and law. The Disputation of the Holy Sacrament represents theology and depicts the occupants of a Catholic Church with … Continue reading Disputation of the Holy Sacrament by Raphael

Maquette for the Advertisement of the Red October Bisquittes by Aleksander Rodchenko

Maquette for the Advertisement of the Red October Bisquittes1923Advertising DesignGouache on paperThe Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA Rodchenko abandoned painting in 1921, and also many of the traditional attitudes of an artist as a social commentator, He put his talents and skills to the service of the Russian industry and the nascent revolution. … Continue reading Maquette for the Advertisement of the Red October Bisquittes by Aleksander Rodchenko

Notre Dame Cathedral by Maurice Utrillo

Notre Dame Cathedral1909Post-ImpressionismOil on cardMusée de l'Orangerie, Paris, France By 25 Utrillo was experimenting with complex motifs and the influence of Impressionism, in particular Monet’s cathedrals, is evident in this painting. An unfinished piece, Utrillo vaguely describes the complex architecture of Notre Dame. Instead the details are obscured as he describes the effect of light … Continue reading Notre Dame Cathedral by Maurice Utrillo

Expulsion from the Garden of Eden by Thomas Cole

Expulsion from the Garden of Eden by Thomas Cole Expulsion from the Garden of Eden1827 - 28Romanticism, The Sublime in ArtOil on canvasCollection of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, USA Depicting the moment god expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, Cole doesn’t focus on the naked humanity of the couple, dwarfing … Continue reading Expulsion from the Garden of Eden by Thomas Cole

Choir Vault at Santa Maria della Steccata, Parma by Parmigianino

Choir Vault at Santa Maria della Steccata, Parma by Parmigianino Choir Vault at Santa Maria della Steccata, Parma1535-39MannerismTempera on frescoChurch of Santa Maria della Steccata, Parma, Italy Evidence of Parmigianino’s feverish practice by this time of his life, this detail from Steccata showing the wise virgins. A major commission, Parmigianino saw the opportunity to challenge … Continue reading Choir Vault at Santa Maria della Steccata, Parma by Parmigianino

La Joconde aux Cles (Mona Lisa with Keys) by Fernand Léger

La Joconde aux Cles by Fernand Léger La Joconde aux Cles (Mona Lisa with Keys)1930SurrealismOil on canvasMusée National Fernand Léger, Biot, France One of Lèger’s most experimental canvases, La Jaconde aux Cles is one of the few in which the influence of Surrealism is revealed. Without support, the depicted objects float in space as in … Continue reading La Joconde aux Cles (Mona Lisa with Keys) by Fernand Léger

Devil Fish by Alexander Calder

Devil Fish by Alexander Calder Devil Fish1937Kinetic ArtSheet metal, bolts and paintCalder Foundation, New York, USA In contrast to his many mobiles, Calder created many stabiles, constructed of interacting shaped planes of bolted sheet metal, predominantly in a single colour. Calder’s first larger-scale stabile, Devil Fish is formed of combinations of curved biomorphic shapes creating … Continue reading Devil Fish by Alexander Calder

Landscape is my Mistress

John Constable by Ramsay Richard Reinagle, 1799. Oil on canvas. The National Portrait Gallery, London, UK Artist: John ConstableBorn: 11 June 1776, Suffolk, EnglandNationality: EnglishMovement: Romanticism, The Sublime in Art, Landscape Painters, British ArtDied: 31 March 1837, London, England Constable, along with JMW Turner, revolutionized landscape painting of the 19th century. His paintings had a … Continue reading Landscape is my Mistress

Charred Journal: Firewritten V by Morris Louis

Charred Journal Firewritten V by Morris Louis Charred Journal: Firewritten V1951Abstract ExpressionismMagna on canvasThe Jewish Museum, New York, USA Charred Journal: Firewritten V is painted in a traditional Abstract Expressionist style with gestural brushwork and all-over composition influenced by Jackson Pollock’s action painting style. Although it is only two feet wide the work achieves a … Continue reading Charred Journal: Firewritten V by Morris Louis

Hispanic Wedding Dress Display, Newark, New Jersey by George Segal

Hispanic Wedding Dress Display, Newark, New Jersey by George Segal Hispanic Wedding Dress Display, Newark, New Jersey1993Pop ArtGelatin silver printCollection of Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA The impact of photography and photojournalism was evident in Segal’s sculptures and near the end of his career he became more active as a photographer. His … Continue reading Hispanic Wedding Dress Display, Newark, New Jersey by George Segal

Ceremonial Sitting of the State Council on 7 May 1901 Marking the Centenary of its Foundation by Ilya Repin

Ceremonial Sitting of the State Council on 7 May 1901 Marking the Centenary of its Foundation by Ilya Repin Ceremonial Sitting of the State Council on 7 May 1901 Marking the Centenary of its Foundation1903RealismOil on canvasRussian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia A monumental canvas portraying Tzar Nicholas II with his advisory body, composed of top … Continue reading Ceremonial Sitting of the State Council on 7 May 1901 Marking the Centenary of its Foundation by Ilya Repin

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire by Thomas Gainsborough

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire by Thomas Gainsborough Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire1785PortraitureOil on canvasDevonshire Collection, Chatsworth, England The fifth Duchess of Devonshire gazes out of the frame straight at the viewer, captivating the eye with her tantalizing smile. The curls of her cascades down her shoulders and back matching the white silken frills of her gown. … Continue reading Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire by Thomas Gainsborough

Ken Moody and Robert Sherman by Robert Mapplethorpe

Ken Moody and Robert Sherman by Robert Mapplethorpe Ken Moody and Robert Sherman1984Modern PhotographyGelatin silver printThe Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA Mapplethorpes’s portrait depicts two of his friends, Ken Moody (a black man) and Robert Sherman (a white man). Both men face directly to the left of the frame and the directional … Continue reading Ken Moody and Robert Sherman by Robert Mapplethorpe

Gallery Connections by Angus Fairhurst

Gallery Connections 1991-6 by Angus Fairhurst 1966-2008 Gallery Connections1991-6Young British Artists, Installation Art, Performance Art, Conceptual ArtMetal, wood, glass, Walkman, amplifier, speakers, headphones, cables and audioTate Galleries, UK Largely a performative piece engineered by Fairhurst and involving unaware participants to generate its content, Gallery Connections involved two telephones rewired by the artist who would dial … Continue reading Gallery Connections by Angus Fairhurst

American Collectors (Fred and Marcia Weisman) by David Hockney

American Collectors (Fred and Marcia Weisman) by David Hockney American Collectors (Fred and Marcia Weisman)1968Pop Art, British Pop Art, School of London, Nouveau Réalisme, British ArtAcrylic on CanvasArt Institute of Chicago, USA Some of Hockney’s moat masterful compositions are his portraits from the late 1960s, offering almost cinematic insights into the culture and mood of … Continue reading American Collectors (Fred and Marcia Weisman) by David Hockney

The Apotheosis of Homer by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

The Apotheosis of Homer by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres The Apotheosis of Homer1827Neo-ClassicismOil on canvasMusée du Louvre, Paris, France Ingres was commissioned to decorate a ceiling in the Louvre to coincide with the opening of the Musée Charles X. The intention was to demonstrate the cultural superiority of France and reinforce the legitimacy of its monarch. Critical … Continue reading The Apotheosis of Homer by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

Eugène Atget by Berenice Abbott

Eugène Atget by Berenice Abbott Eugène Atget1927Straight PhotographyPhoto-Gelatin silver printCollection of International Center of Photography, New York, New York, USA Eugène Atget stares out at the camera with a bemused expression in this portrait. The personal interaction between Abbott and Atget is the actual subject of the photograph art. Since Abbott is the only artist … Continue reading Eugène Atget by Berenice Abbott

Footprints of History by Cai Guo-Qiang

Footprints of History by Cai Guo-Qiang Footprints of History2008Installation Art, Conceptual Art, Earth Art, Performance Art, PostmodernismFireworks for 2008 Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremony An ephemeral art project ‘Footprints of History’ was a visual sculptural design for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremony. Composed of 29 firework starbursts resembling giant footprints crossing over the Beijing skyline, … Continue reading Footprints of History by Cai Guo-Qiang

Bend Sinister by Kenneth Noland

Bend Sinister by Kenneth Noland Bend Sinister1964Colour Field Painting, Post-Painterly Abstraction, Washington Colour SchoolAcrylic on CanvasHirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., USA In Chevron paintings , such as ‘Bend Sinister’, Noland puts the composition off-centre against neutral backgrounds. Noland’s titles are difficult to decipher, however ‘Bend Sinister’ alludes to the structure of the painting … Continue reading Bend Sinister by Kenneth Noland

Jean Cocteau, Paris by Berenice Abbott

Jean Cocteau, Paris1927PortraitureGelatin silver printCollection of The New York Public Library, New York, New York, USA Abbott portrays the French Surrealist artist, poet, filmmaker, and writer, Jean Cocteau, posed sitting in bed with a blank expression, mirroring the expression of the paper mâché doll head he cradles. Cocteau and doll are craped in a white … Continue reading Jean Cocteau, Paris by Berenice Abbott

Ex-Nihilo by Kenneth Noland

Ex-Nihilo1958Colour Field Painting, Post-Painterly Abstraction, Washington Colour SchoolMagna on canvasPrivate collection The late 1950s marked a major turning point in Noland’s career and in ‘Ex Nihilo’ Noland began painting simplified forms and carefully balancing selected colours to create something out of nothing. Noland had yet to find his signature style and unlike his later renditions … Continue reading Ex-Nihilo by Kenneth Noland

Seasons of Life: Summer by Cai Guo-Qiang

Seasons of Life: Summer2015PostmodernismGunpowder on canvasCollection of the artist This large work is a depiction of a couple entwined in sexual intimacy whilst surrounded by colourful flowers representing the blossoming of summer with a vibrant use of red, blue and yellow evoking the emotions of blissfulness, happiness and vitality. The painting is one of four … Continue reading Seasons of Life: Summer by Cai Guo-Qiang

Non-Objective Painting No 80 (Black on Black) by Aleksander Rodchenko

Non-Objective Painting No 80 (Black on Black)1918ConstructivismOil on canvasThe Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA Powerfully influenced by Kazimir Malevich and Suprematism, particular works such as Black Square (1915), in which the components of the painting are reduced to a single black square echoing the shape of the canvas. Rodchenko rejected the spiritualism of … Continue reading Non-Objective Painting No 80 (Black on Black) by Aleksander Rodchenko

Cabaret Voltaire by Marcel Janco

Cabaret Voltaire by Marcel Janco Cabaret Voltaire1916DadaAcrylic on canvasUnknown A crowded canvas portrays the chaotic action, sound, and fury of a night at the Cabaret Voltaire. A jumble of performers, spectators, and inanimate objects fill the space so it is overcrowded and almost bursting. The artist makes little distinction between the performers and the audience, … Continue reading Cabaret Voltaire by Marcel Janco

A Wall for Apricots by Anne Truitt

A Wall for Apricots by Anne Truitt A Wall for Apricots1968Washington Colour School, Minimalism, Abstract ExpressionismAcrylic on woodBaltimore Museum of Art, Maryland, USA A tall, elegant tower containing three bands of vivid colour stacked one on top the other, A Wall for Apricots is a deceitfully simple piece that with closer inspection reveals a delicate … Continue reading A Wall for Apricots by Anne Truitt

I Saw Three Cities by Kay Sage

I Saw Three Cities1944SurrealismOil on canvasPrinceton University Art Museum, New Jersey, USA A desolate, geometric landscape dominated by a tail, cloaked guardian in the foreground. The human figure is composed of a central pole and swirling drapery. Fluid and animated drapery gives a feeling of movement and wind blowing through the fabric made figure contrasting … Continue reading I Saw Three Cities by Kay Sage