Khnopff: Who Shall Deliver Me

Fernand Khnopff: Who Shall Deliver Me (Christina Georgina Rossetti) – 1891 ‘Who Shall Deliver Me’ is the title of the poem by Christina Rossetti from which Khnopff chose the line ‘I Lock the Door upon Myself’ for the title of his most famous painting, now in the Neue Pinakothek in Munich. A committed anglophile, Khnopff was […]

Jupiter and Semele

Gustave Moreau: Jupiter and Semele – 1895 Paris, Musée Gustave Moreau This work assaults the eye with myriad forms constructed from a kaleidoscope of colour. The heavily impastoed surface builds, in places, to further enhance the jewelled surface – every inch is encrusted with detail. As one peers more closely, various vegetative and animate forms […]

Young Girls by the Seashore

Pierre Puvis de Chavannes: Young Girls by the Seashore – 1879 Paris, Musée d’Orsay Pierre Puvis de Chavannes is a difficult artist to categorise or pigeonhole. This is part of his appeal. A personal fortune allowed him to follow his own path, freed from the necessity to compromise his style in order to attract commissions and […]

Khnopff: I Lock The Door Upon Myself

Fernand Khnopff: I Lock the Door Upon Myself – 1891 Munich, Neue Pinakothek In the 1890’s Khnopff regularly visited Britain and established friendships with G.F. Watts, Edward Burne-Jones and their circle. The title of the painting is a quotation from a Christina Rossetti poem. “God strengthen me to bear myself; That heaviest weight of all to […]

Claude-Pastoral: Roman Campagna

Claude Lorrain: Pastoral Landscape: The Roman Campagna – c1639 New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art This painting was documented in the Liber Veritatis, a pictorial record (in the form of drawings) made by Claude to authenticate his output and to undermine forgeries. An inscription on the back of this drawing states that the painting was commissioned […]

Nicolas Poussin: A Dance to the Music of Time

Nicolas Poussin: A Dance to the Music of Time – 1635-36 Wallace Collection, London This picture has a strong claim to be thought of as the artist’s masterpiece. It was painted at some time between 1634 and 1636 for Cardinal Giulio Rospigliosi who later became Pope Clement XI. Rospigliosi was also a poet and a librettist […]

David Inshaw: The BadmintonGame

David Inshaw: The Badminton – 1973 Tate, London David Inshaw has given us a most enchanting image — a beautifully conceived conceit. His technique enables him to craft a wonderful intensity. Each leaf and each blade of grass seems to have been individually painted. It is almost Pre-Raphaelite in its precision. However, the painting transcends mere […]

Arnold Böcklin: Island of the Dead

Arnold Böcklin: Island of the Dead – 1880 Metropolitan Museum, New York A small rowing boat drifts on a slate-blue sea near a rocky tomb-encrusted island. The intense, brooding sky is scarcely lighter than the sea. The light is behind us, picking out the white marble of two mausoleums. It also highlights a white-clad figure […]

Edward Burne-Jones: Chant d’Amour

Edward Burne-Jones: Le Chant d’Amour (The Love Song) – 1868–73 Metropolitan Museum, New York In the early summer of 1862 Edward Burne-Jones, accompanied by his wife, traveled to Venice with his mentor John Ruskin who commissioned him to paint copies of a number of Venetian Renaissance works. He returned home via Paris where he saw […]