Synthetism The term is derived from the French verb synthétiser (to synthesise). In essence Gauguin, Emile Bernard and their Pont-Aven group proposed that art should be a synthesis of three considerations – the starting point was the representation of natural forms but overlaid with the artist’s feelings about the subject and also his aesthetic, perhaps […]

Gauguin: Vision after the Sermon

Paul Gauguin: Vision after the Sermon – 1888 Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh In a letter to Van Gogh (in Arles), dated 22 September 1888, Gauguin writes: ‘I have just painted a religious picture, very badly done but it interested me and I like it. I wanted to give it to the church at Ponte-Aven. Naturally […]

Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin Arcadian Dreams Articles Vision after the Sermon Selected Works 1886 Four Breton Women Dancing, Munich, Neue Pinakothek 1887 Matinique (At the Pond’s Edge), Amsterdam, van Gogh Museum 1888 Old Women of Arles, Chicago, Art Institute 1888 Vision After the Sermon: Jacob Wrestling with the Angel, Edinburgh, National Gallery of Scotland 1888 Self-Portrait, Les Misérables, Amsterdam, van Gogh Museum […]

G.F. Watts: Hope

George Frederick Watts: Hope – 1886 London, Tate Britain Hope is one of the Theological Virtues (Faith, Hope and Charity) traditionally represented as women. In 1886 George Frederick Watts completed two versions of his take on one of the Virtues, the subject of many images since antiquity and the Renaissance. He sold the original version […]

George Frederick Watts

George Frederick Watts Arcadian Dreams Articles Hope Selected Works 1882:The Rider on the Pale Horse, Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery 1886: The Minotaur, London, Tate Britain 1887: Love and Death, London, Tate Britain 1903: The Sower of the Systems, Compton, Surrey, Watts Gallery George Frederic Watts was born in London in 1817, the son of a […]

Gaetano Previati

Gaetano Previati Arcadian Dreams Articles Dance of the Hours Selected Works 1891: Maternity  1908: Nocturne (The Silence) 1909: Paolo and Francesca Gaetano Previati was born in Farrara in 1852. He studied at the School of Fine Arts in Ferrara before moving to Florence in 1876 and then to Milan where he enrolled in the life […]

Gaetano Previati: Dance of the Hours

Gaetano Previati: The Dance of the Hours – 1899 Milan, Fondazione-Cariplo The immediate inspiration for the painting was a short ballet *The Dance of the Hours* which appeared at the end of the third act of the opera La Gioconda, composed by Amilcare Ponchielli. It was first performed in Milan in 1876. But the iconography […]

Puvis de Chavannes: Sacred Grove Dear to the Arts and Muses

Pierre Puvis de Chavannes: The Sacred Grove Dear to the Arts and Muses – 1884 Lyon, Musée des Beaux Arts Commissioned in 1883 by the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon for the main staircase of the museum, this huge painting, on canvas, first appeared at the 1884 Paris Salon before installation in Lyon in August […]

Les XX

Les XX The exhibition society know as Les XX (Les Vingt) was established in Brussels in October 1883 by 11 founding members who then invited a further nine to take part in their first exhibition in 1884, making a membership of twenty. They were perhaps the most avant-garde group of artists exhibiting in Europe at […]

Akseli Gallen-Kallela: Lake Keitele

Akseli Gallen-Kallela: Lake Keitele – 1905 London, National Gallery I first saw this painting about fifteen years ago – not long after it was purchased by the National Gallery in 1999. I caught sight of it across a room full of Post Impressionist masterpieces; its distinctive originality immediately drew me towards it. A decade or […]