5 Historical Figures Feeling the Blues

Feeling down in the dumps? Got a case of the Mondays?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Take solace in these melancholy moments from history.

Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Dante Alighieri

Considered to have written the most important poem of the Middle Ages and the greatest literary work in the Italian language, at first glance, it may seem like a complete mystery why Dante would be pictured as grossly miserable in most portraits.

But not many people get to see Hell as vividly as Dante.

Dante Alighieri portrait. c. 1500s.
Dante Alighieri portrait. c. 1500s.

Paradoxically called the “Divine Comedy”, the poem is a narrative of Dante’s travels through Hell, followed by a stay in Purgatory to endure some further suffering and torment before, at last, reaching the Paradise of Heaven.

“Comedy” in the classical sense meant a Providential will that ordered the universe; thus the pilgrimage from Hell to Heaven is the archetypal expression of “comedy”.

Dante's Inferno depicted in wall frescos by Joseph Anton Koch. Credit Sailko
Dante’s Inferno depicted in wall frescos by Joseph Anton Koch. Credit Sailko

When he was just nine years old, Dante fell in love.

That same year, his mother died.

And his love would go unrequited because he was promised in marriage to the daughter of a powerful Florentine family at age 12.

Channeling his emotional pain into poetry, he depicted his lost love, Beatrice, as semi-divine, watching over him constantly and providing spiritual instruction.

This theme would recur in the Divine Comedy as Dante is guided by the Roman poet Virgil through Hell and Purgatory, and then by Beatrice herself, who guides him through Heaven—one of the few times Dante looks the least bit happy.

Dante in Heaven by William Cave Thomas
Dante in Heaven by William Cave Thomas

Influencing many parts of the Comedy was Dante’s bitterness at being exiled from his beloved Florence simply for being on the wrong side of the ideological war between the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire.

Still, with the eternal damnation to which he condemned his opponents in the Divine Comedy, perhaps Dante had the last laugh.

Andrew Jackson

Serving as the seventh President of the United States from 1829 to 1837, Andrew Jackson is best remembered for his triumphal victory over the British at the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812 .

Lauded as an American hero, one may be forgiven for wondering why Andrew Jackson looks so sad in many portraits.

But there is a darker side to his past.

Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States
Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States

Prospering as a cotton planter, Jackson may have owned as many as 300 slaves throughout his lifetime.

Permitting slaves to be whipped to increase productivity, his sweeping plantation, the Hermitage in Tennessee, grew to 1,050 acres, while slaves lived in 20 sq ft cabins.

Andrew Jackson's plantation, The Hermitage in Tennessee
Andrew Jackson’s plantation, The Hermitage in Tennessee

In 1838, as many as 4,000 Cherokees died on the “Trail of Tears”—Andrew Jackson’s forced removal of Native American nations from their ancestral homelands in the Southeastern United States to designated territory west of the Mississippi River.

Trail of Tears mural at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Cherokee, NC. Credit Nick Chapman, flickr
Trail of Tears mural at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Cherokee, NC. Credit Nick Chapman, flickr

Maybe Jackson felt remorse over some of these actions.

But his own life had not been easy by any means.

At the age of 14, he was captured by the British during the Revolutionary War, along with his brother.

When he refused to clean the boots of a British officer, the officer slashed at him with a sword, leaving scars on his left hand and head.

While held prisoner, the two brothers contracted smallpox and nearly starved to death.

Securing their release, his mother walked them home, but his brother died along the way.

Volunteering to help prisoners of war recover from cholera, his mother died after contracting the disease and was buried in an unmarked grave.

Andrew Jackson, age 78. Daguerreotype, 1845
Andrew Jackson, age 78. Daguerreotype, 1845

Later in Jackson’s traumatic life, he dueled with American lawyer Charles Dickinson and was struck in the chest near his heart.

Remaining lodged in his lung, the bullet would never be removed and caused a hacking cough that often brought up blood, sometimes making his whole body shake.

Jackson got his revenge by shooting the man stone cold dead, but chronic headaches and abdominal pains plagued him for the rest of his life.

Observers likened him to a volcano, and only the most intrepid or recklessly curious cared to see it erupt.Biographer H. W. Brands

Napoleon Bonaparte

Rising to prominence during the French Revolution, Napoleon went on to dominate Europe and global affairs as Emperor of the French.

Celebrated as one of the greatest commanders in history, what could possibly cause him to look so down in the dumps?

Answer: defeat.

Napoleon I at Fontainebleau by Paul Delaroche
Napoleon I at Fontainebleau by Paul Delaroche

Winning was everything to Napoleon.

Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.Napoleon Bonaparte

Early signs of Napoleon’s sadness are revealed in an oft-cited letter of 1795 to his brother Joseph, revealing that he felt “little attached to life”, finding himself as though “constantly on the eve of battle.”

He despaired that he would end up “by not moving aside when a carriage goes by”.

His incapacity for pleasure, his all-pervading sadness, his suicidal thoughts, his despair of finding his place in the world were, to some extent, a part of the Romantic era of Byron and Shelley.

But finding action in the field of battle would be all the medicine Napoleon needed.

'Long live the Emperor!' Napoleon on the battlefield
‘Long live the Emperor!’ Napoleon on the battlefield

As long as he was moving forward, taking action, strategizing, he was in his element.

Nothing could stop him.

Even the failed invasion of Russia in 1812 was just a setback to Napoleon.

But after Waterloo, everything changed.

Exiled on Saint Helena, 1,162 miles from the west coast of Africa, Napoleon fell into deep depression and ill health.

Describing St Helena as “this accursed”, “frightful”, “vile”, and “miserable” rock, Napoleon suffered from nervous headaches, a shooting pain in his shoulder blade and down his right side, stomach pains, swollen cheeks and ankles, and bleeding gums.

Talking of suicide by charcoal fumes, he wrote, “death is nothing but a sleep without dreams”.

Napoleon on Saint Helena
Napoleon on Saint Helena

Napoleon died on 5 May 1821.

But he really died six years earlier when he stepped foot on St Helena and no longer had control over an army.

Napoleon had lost his purpose in life.

His last words were, “France, l’armée, tête d’armée, Joséphine” (“France, army, head of the army, Joséphine”).

Napoleon on his deathbed by Horace Vernet, 1826
Napoleon on his deathbed by Horace Vernet, 1826

Queen Victoria

Known as the “the grandmother of Europe”, her nine children married into European royalty and nobility, giving her 42 grandchildren.

Queen Victoria reigned for 63 years and seven months—longer than any of her predecessors.

Marked by industrial, cultural, political, and scientific advancement, one could be forgiven for wondering what on earth could make the Queen so miserable?

In a word, Albert.

Queen Victoria, by Bertha Müller, 1899
Queen Victoria, by Bertha Müller, 1899

Not that there was anything wrong with her husband Albert, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, quite the opposite.

After 21 years of blissful married life, Albert contracted cholera and died an early death, plunging her into a deep depression.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, 1854
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, 1854

She wrote to her daughter in Germany,

How I, who leant on him for all and everything—without whom I did nothing, moved not a finger, arranged not a print or photograph, didn’t put on a gown or bonnet if he didn’t approve it shall go on, to live, to move, to help myself in difficult moments?Queen Victoria

Victorian-era widows were expected to wear black for the mourning period of up to four years.

Women who mourned in black for longer periods were accorded great respect in public for their devotion to the departed.

Queen Victoria mourned for 40 years.

Queen Victoria and Prince Leopold, 1862
Queen Victoria and Prince Leopold, 1862

Finding solace in unexpected places is a part of the grieving process.

Queen Victoria developed a curious relationship with John Brown, a Scottish horse attendant in her household.

Proud of his heritage, his brusque manner was the bane of her ministers and family.

But she adored him.

John Brown and Queen Victoria, 1868
John Brown and Queen Victoria, 1868

Vincent van Gogh

Struggling with poverty and mental illness for most of his life, Van Gogh is perhaps the most famous tortured artist of all time.

Considered a madman and a failure, his fame grew only after his suicide, with several paintings he couldn’t sell now worth over $100 million each.

No wonder he looked miserable in his numerous self-portraits.

Self-Portrait by Vincent van Gogh, 1887
Self-Portrait by Vincent van Gogh, 1887

Quiet and thoughtful as a child, Van Gogh first began to feel depressed when he moved to London as a young art dealer.

Turning to religion and spending some time as a missionary in Belgium, he drifted into ill health and solitude.

Moving back with his parents in the Netherlands, he took up painting.

But as his talent grew, there was only one place to be for an aspiring artist in the late 19th century—Paris.

Le Moulin de la Galette by Vincent van Gogh, 1886
Le Moulin de la Galette by Vincent van Gogh, 1886

Falling in with the avant-garde, he became friends with Paul Gauguin and painted some of his best-loved scenes of Montmartre.

But delusional episodes, poor health, and heavy drinking led to a confrontation with Gauguin that ended their friendship and cost Van Gogh an ear.

Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear and Pipe by Vincent van Gogh, 1889
Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear and Pipe by Vincent van Gogh, 1889

Brandishing a cut-throat razor at Gauguin and later cutting off part of his own ear was enough to see him institutionalized.

When you paint your own doctor in a way that suggests he was either deeply depressed himself or powerless to help you, then you know things are pretty dire.

Portrait of Dr. Gachet by Vincent van Gogh
Portrait of Dr. Gachet by Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh shot himself in the chest on 27 July 1890.

But look on the bright side—it’s possible that our minds are at their most creative when we’re at least a little sad.

The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh, 1889
The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh, 1889

Renoir: an Impression of Beauty

Famed for his paintings of bustling 19th-century Parisian life, pretty women and sensual nudes, Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s eye for beauty captured the day’s fashions and scenes of contented domestic bliss.

Luncheon of the Boating Party by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Celebrated as a colorist, Renoir (1841 – 1919) was masterful at capturing the interplay of light and shadow as seen in the dappled sunlight of dancers at the Moulin de la Galette.

In the 19th century, Le Moulin de la Galette was a pleasant diversion for Parisians seeking entertainment, a glass of wine and bread made from flour ground by the famous windmill of the same name.

Bal du moulin de la Galette by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Why shouldn’t art be pretty? There are enough unpleasant things in the world.Pierre Auguste Renoir
Click here to learn more about Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Painting for two months in the summer of 1869 at a boating and bathing complex outside Paris called La Grenouillère, Renoir and his friend Claude Monet captured the effects of the sun streaming through the trees on the rippling water.

La Grenouillere by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1869
La Grenouillere by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1869

Using broad, loose brushstrokes in a sketch-like technique and a brightened palette, they developed what would become known as the Impressionist aesthetic.

La Grenouillere by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1869
La Grenouillere by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1869

Organized with the help of friends Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, and Camille Pissarro, Renoir and Monet held exhibitions dedicated to Impressionism as a means to bypass the strict tradition of the more conservative Salon de Paris—the official art exhibition of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

Although a founding member of the Impressionist movement, Renoir ceased to exhibit after 1877.

His love of portraiture and images of well-dressed Parisian pleasure seekers created a bridge from Impressionism’s more experimental aims to a modern, middle-class art public.

The Cafe by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1877
The Cafe by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1877

On a trip to Italy in 1881, Renoir became enamored with the “grandeur and simplicity” of High Renaissance artists like Raphael and his figures consequently became more crisply drawn and sculptural in character.

The Artist's Family by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1896
The Artist’s Family by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1896

Integrating more line and composition into his more mature works, Renoir created some of his era’s most timeless canvases.

Dance at Bougival by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1883
Dance at Bougival by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1883

Painting dozens of nudes, Renoir specialized in marble-like figures against quickly improvised impressionistic backgrounds.

Bather by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1893
Bather by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1893

Renoir’s combination of modernity and tradition was highly influential on the next generation of artists including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Maurice Denis.

Join us as we celebrate Renoir accompanied by the music of Chopin.

Young Girls at the Piano by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1892
Young Girls at the Piano by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1892
Woman with a Parasol in a Garden by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1873
Woman with a Parasol in a Garden by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1873
The Two Sisters, On the Terrace by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
The Two Sisters, On the Terrace by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Picking Flowers by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1875
Picking Flowers by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1875
Young Woman with a Japanese Umbrella by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1876
Young Woman with a Japanese Umbrella by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1876
Place de la Trinite, Paris by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1875
Place de la Trinite, Paris by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1875
At the Concert by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1880
At the Concert by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1880
Claude Monet Painting in His Garden at Argenteuil by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1873
Claude Monet Painting in His Garden at Argenteuil by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1873
Bougival by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1888
Bougival by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1888
The Swing by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1876
The Swing by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1876
Cagnes Landscape by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1910
Cagnes Landscape by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1910
Noirmoutiers by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1892
Noirmoutiers by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1892
Woman with a Black Dog by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1874
Woman with a Black Dog by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1874
The Port of Pornic by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1890
The Port of Pornic by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1890
Sunny Landscape by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1880
Sunny Landscape by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1880
The Harvesters by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1873
The Harvesters by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1873
The Covered Lane by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1872
The Covered Lane by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1872
The Children of Martial Caillebotte by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1895
The Children of Martial Caillebotte by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1895
Geraniums in a Copper Basin by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1880
Geraniums in a Copper Basin by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1880
Landscape at Cagnes by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1908
Landscape at Cagnes by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1908
Le Pont-Neuf, Paris by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1872
Le Pont-Neuf, Paris by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1872
The Theater Box by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1874
The Theater Box by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1874
The Farm by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1914
The Farm by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1914
Basket of Flowers by Pierre Auguste Renoir - 1890
Basket of Flowers by Pierre Auguste Renoir – 1890
The Lovers by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1875
The Lovers by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1875
Chapel of Our Lady of Protection, Cagnes by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1905
Chapel of Our Lady of Protection, Cagnes by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1905
A Cup of Tea in the Garden by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1907
A Cup of Tea in the Garden by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1907
Houses at Cagnes by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1905
Houses at Cagnes by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1905
The Fountain by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1885
The Fountain by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1885
Chrysanthemums by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1878
Chrysanthemums by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1878
Among the Roses by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1882
Among the Roses by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1882
Flowers in a Vase by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1866
Flowers in a Vase by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1866
Cagnes Landscape with Woman and Child by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1910
Cagnes Landscape with Woman and Child by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1910
The Fisherman by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1874
The Fisherman by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1874
Girls with Lilacs by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1890
Girls with Lilacs by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1890
The Great Boulevards by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1875
The Great Boulevards by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1875
The Terrace at Cagnes by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1908
The Terrace at Cagnes by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1908
Country Dance by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1883
Country Dance by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1883
Bouquet of Flowers by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1878
Bouquet of Flowers by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1878
The Canoeist's Luncheon by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1880
The Canoeist’s Luncheon by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1880
Head of a Little Girl by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1900
Head of a Little Girl by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1900
Oarsmen at Chatou by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1879
Oarsmen at Chatou by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1879
Madame Chocquet Reading by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1876
Madame Chocquet Reading by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1876
Girl Gathering Flowers by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1872
Girl Gathering Flowers by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1872
The Seine at Chatou by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1881
The Seine at Chatou by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1881
Spring Bouquet by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1866
Spring Bouquet by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1866
Algerian Landscape by Pierre Auguste Renoir
Algerian Landscape by Pierre Auguste Renoir
The Piazza San Marco, Venice by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1881
The Piazza San Marco, Venice by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1881
Place de la Trinite by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1875
Place de la Trinite by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1875
The Seine at Asnieres by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1879
The Seine at Asnieres by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1879
Vase of Chrysanthemums by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1882
Vase of Chrysanthemums by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1882
Garden Scene in Brittany by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1886
Garden Scene in Brittany by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1886
Young Woman in Red in the Fields by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1900
Young Woman in Red in the Fields by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1900
Madame Renoir and Her Son Pierre by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1890
Madame Renoir and Her Son Pierre by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1890
Under the Arbor at the Moulin de la Galette by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1876
Under the Arbor at the Moulin de la Galette by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1876
In St Cloud Park by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1866
In St Cloud Park by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1866
Girl with a Watering Can by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1876
Girl with a Watering Can by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1876
Children by the Sea by Pierre Auguste Renoir - 1894
Children by the Sea by Pierre Auguste Renoir – 1894
Nini in the Garden by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1876
Nini in the Garden by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1876
Mlle Charlotte Berthier by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1883
Mlle Charlotte Berthier by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1883

A Slice of American Life in a Gilded Age by William Merritt Chase

William Merritt Chase was an American painter who thrived during America’s Gilded Age.

He is best known for his portraits and landscapes in the impressionist “en plein air” (painted outdoors) style.

He captured the domestic comforts of his own family and the blissful lifestyle of some of the wealthy.

While working in the family business, Chase showed an early talent for art, studying under local, self-taught artists in Indianapolis, who urged him to further his studies at the National Academy in New York.

Declining family fortunes cut short his training and he left New York to join his family in St Louis—working to help support them, but continuing his art.

Catching the eye of wealthy St Louis art collectors, Chase was sent on an expense-paid trip to Europe in exchange for some of his paintings and help in procuring others for their collections.

As one of the finest centers for art training in Europe, Chase joined the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich, where his figurative and impressionist loose brushwork began to shine.

Further travels in Italy rounded out his skills and he returned to the United States as one of a new wave of highly accomplished European-trained artists.

Seated, left to right: Edward Simmons, Willard L. Metcalf, Childe Hassam, J. Alden Weir, Robert Reid Standing, left to right: William Merritt Chase, Frank W. Benson, Edmund C. Tarbell, Thomas Wilmer Dewing, Joseph DeCamp
Seated, left to right: Edward Simmons, Willard L. Metcalf, Childe Hassam, J. Alden Weir, Robert Reid Standing, left to right: William Merritt Chase, Frank W. Benson, Edmund C. Tarbell, Thomas Wilmer Dewing, Joseph DeCamp

American statesman Samuel Greene Wheeler Benjamin once said of Chase’s style,

A noble sense of color is perceptible in all his works, whether in the subtle elusive tints of flesh, or in the powerful rendering of a mass of color. In the painting of a portrait he endeavors, sometimes very successfully, to seize character

Whether relaxing in the country, strolling in the park, playing with children at the beach, boating on a summer afternoon or simply contemplating life, his paintings show us a slice of American life at a beautiful time. A time tinted with gold. A Gilded Age.

Mrs Chase Playing the Piano by William Merritt Chase, 1883
Mrs Chase Playing the Piano by William Merritt Chase, 1883
Going to see Grandma by William Merritt Chase, 1889
Going to see Grandma by William Merritt Chase, 1889
The Actress Linda Dietz Carlton by William Merritt Chase, c.1879
The Actress Linda Dietz Carlton by William Merritt Chase, c.1879
Afternoon by the Sea by William Merritt Chase, c.1888
Afternoon by the Sea by William Merritt Chase, c.1888
Sketch for the Portrait of Mother and Child) by William Merritt Chase, c.1915
Sketch for the Portrait of Mother and Child) by William Merritt Chase, c.1915
Afternoon in the Park by William Merritt Chase, c.1887
Afternoon in the Park by William Merritt Chase, c.1887
Dorothy and Her Sister by William Merritt Chase, c.1900
Dorothy and Her Sister by William Merritt Chase, c.1900
Contemplation by William Merritt Chase, 1889
Contemplation by William Merritt Chase, 1889
Connoisseur - The Studio Corner by William Merritt Chase, c.1883
Connoisseur – The Studio Corner by William Merritt Chase, c.1883
Children Playing Parlor Croquet by William Merritt Chase, c.1888
Children Playing Parlor Croquet by William Merritt Chase, c.1888
Child with Prints by William Merritt Chase, c.1884
Child with Prints by William Merritt Chase, c.1884
Chase Homestead, Shinnecock by William Merritt Chase, c.1893
Chase Homestead, Shinnecock by William Merritt Chase, c.1893
Beach Scene - Morning at Canoe Place by William Merritt Chase, c.1896
Beach Scene – Morning at Canoe Place by William Merritt Chase, c.1896
In the Studio by William Merritt Chase, 1892
In the Studio by William Merritt Chase, 1892
An Afternoon Stroll by William Merritt Chase, 1895
An Afternoon Stroll by William Merritt Chase, 1895
Landscape Shinnecock, Long Island by William Merritt Chase, 1896
Landscape Shinnecock, Long Island by William Merritt Chase, 1896
Young Woman in Pink by William Merritt Chase , 1905
Young Woman in Pink by William Merritt Chase , 1905
Portrait of Miss Dorothy Chase by William Merritt Chase, c.1913
Portrait of Miss Dorothy Chase by William Merritt Chase, c.1913
Sunlight and Shadow in Prospect Park by William Merritt Chase, 1887
Sunlight and Shadow in Prospect Park by William Merritt Chase, 1887
Alice Dieudonnee Chase, Shinnecock Hills by William Merritt Chase, c.1901
Alice Dieudonnee Chase, Shinnecock Hills by William Merritt Chase, c.1901
The Sisters (also known as The Sisters - Mrs. Sullivan and Mrs. Oskar LIvingston; The Sisters - Mrs. Oskar Livingston and Mrs. James Francis Sullivan) by William Merritt Chase, 1905
The Sisters (also known as The Sisters – Mrs. Sullivan and Mrs. Oskar LIvingston; The Sisters – Mrs. Oskar Livingston and Mrs. James Francis Sullivan) by William Merritt Chase, 1905
Prospect Park, Brooklyn by William Merritt Chase, 1887
Prospect Park, Brooklyn by William Merritt Chase, 1887
Susan Watkins by William Merritt Chase, 1914
Susan Watkins by William Merritt Chase, 1914
Terrace at the Mall, Cantral Park by William Merritt Chase, 1890
Terrace at the Mall, Cantral Park by William Merritt Chase, 1890
Sunlight and Shadow by William Merritt Chase, 1884
Sunlight and Shadow by William Merritt Chase, 1884
Summertime by William Merritt Chase, 1886
Summertime by William Merritt Chase, 1886
The Song by William Merritt Chase, 1907
The Song by William Merritt Chase, 1907
Woman with a Large Hat by William Merritt Chase, 1904
Woman with a Large Hat by William Merritt Chase, 1904
Woman in Kimono Holding a Japanese Fan by William Merritt Chase
Woman in Kimono Holding a Japanese Fan by William Merritt Chase
William Launt Palmer by William Merritt Chase, 1887
William Launt Palmer by William Merritt Chase, 1887
Weary (also known as Who Rang) by William Merritt Chase, 1889
Weary (also known as Who Rang) by William Merritt Chase, 1889
Wash Day - A Back Yard Reminiscence of Brooklyn by William Merritt Chase, 1886
Wash Day – A Back Yard Reminiscence of Brooklyn by William Merritt Chase, 1886
Tompkins Park, Brooklyn by William Merritt Chase,1887
Tompkins Park, Brooklyn by William Merritt Chase,1887
Dr Benjamin Taylor by William Merritt Chase, 1902
Dr Benjamin Taylor by William Merritt Chase, 1902
Child on a Garden Walk by William Merritt Chase, 1888
Child on a Garden Walk by William Merritt Chase, 1888
The Blue Kimono by William Merritt Chase, 1898
The Blue Kimono by William Merritt Chase, 1898
Bessie Potter by William Merritt Chase, 1895
Bessie Potter by William Merritt Chase, 1895
Bank of a Lake in Central Park by William Merritt Chase, 1890
Bank of a Lake in Central Park by William Merritt Chase, 1890
The Birthday Party by William Merritt Chase, 1902
The Birthday Party by William Merritt Chase, 1902
August B. Loeb, Esq by William Merritt Chase, 1905
August B. Loeb, Esq by William Merritt Chase, 1905
At the Shore by William Merritt Chase, 1886
At the Shore by William Merritt Chase, 1886
At the Seaside by William Merritt Chase, 1892
At the Seaside by William Merritt Chase, 1892
A Long Island Lake by William Merritt Chase, c.1890
A Long Island Lake by William Merritt Chase, c.1890
The Little Garden by William Merritt Chase, 1895
The Little Garden by William Merritt Chase, 1895
The Lake for Miniature Yachts by William Merritt Chase, 1890
The Lake for Miniature Yachts by William Merritt Chase, 1890
Lady in White by William Merritt Chase
Lady in White by William Merritt Chase
Lady in Pink by William Merritt Chase, 1883
Lady in Pink by William Merritt Chase, 1883
Girl at a Bureau by William Merritt Chase
Girl at a Bureau by William Merritt Chase
A Friendly Visit by William Merritt Chase, c.1895
A Friendly Visit by William Merritt Chase, c.1895
Friendly Advice by William Merritt Chase, 1913
Friendly Advice by William Merritt Chase, 1913
For the LIttle One (also known as Hall at Shinnecock) by William Merritt Chase, c.1895
For the LIttle One (also known as Hall at Shinnecock) by William Merritt Chase, c.1895
The Fairy Tale (also known as A Summer Day) by William Merritt Chase, c.1892
The Fairy Tale (also known as A Summer Day) by William Merritt Chase, c.1892
End of the Season by William Merritt Chase, c.1884
End of the Season by William Merritt Chase, c.1884
An Early Stroll in the Park by William Merritt Chase, c.1890
An Early Stroll in the Park by William Merritt Chase, c.1890
Afternoon Shadows by William Merritt Chase, c. 1897
Afternoon Shadows by William Merritt Chase, c. 1897

20 Enchanting Paintings of Regency England by Edmund Blair Leighton

Perhaps no painter captures the romance of the English Regency better than Edmund Blair Leighton.

Just as we, today, are enchanted by the nostalgic feeling from this era of elegance and extravagance, balls and duels, eligible bachelors and debutantes, so too was Edmund Blair Leighton (1851 – 1922)—a Victorian painter of historical genre scenes.

Leighton loved to paint highly detailed, idealized depictions of the time of regency novelists like Jane Austen, and Romantic poets like Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Strictly speaking, the Regency covers the nine years from 1811 to 1820 when King George III was deemed unfit to rule and his son, the Prince of Wales ruled England as Prince Regent before his accession as King George IV.

But the broadest definition of the period, characterized by trends in fashion, architecture, culture, and politics, begins with the French Revolution of 1789 and ends with Queen Victoria’s rise to power.

Known as “the first gentleman of England” for his charm and culture, George IV commissioned several immense building projects including the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, the remodeling of Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, and the foundation of King’s College London and the National Gallery.

The Regency was a time of war and glory overseas and cultural awakening at home.

In 1816 by Edmund Blair Leighton
In 1816 by Edmund Blair Leighton
The glance that enchants by Edmund Blair Leighton
The glance that enchants by Edmund Blair Leighton
A Wet Sunday Morning by Edmund Blair Leighton
A Wet Sunday Morning by Edmund Blair Leighton
The Windmiller's Guest by Edmund Blair Leighton
The Windmiller’s Guest by Edmund Blair Leighton
A Favor by Edmund Blair Leighton
A Favor by Edmund Blair Leighton
The Elopement by Edmund Blair Leighton
The Elopement by Edmund Blair Leighton
My Next-Door Neighbour by Edmund Blair Leighton
My Next-Door Neighbour by Edmund Blair Leighton
The Gallant Suitor by Edmund Blair Leighton
The Gallant Suitor by Edmund Blair Leighton
The Golden Train by Edmund Blair Leighton
The Golden Train by Edmund Blair Leighton
Wedding march by Edmund Blair Leighton
Wedding march by Edmund Blair Leighton
The Wedding Register by Edmund Blair Leighton
The Wedding Register by Edmund Blair Leighton
Lady in a Garden by Edmund Blair Leighton
Lady in a Garden by Edmund Blair Leighton
The Lord Of Burleigh by Edmund Blair Leighton
The Lord Of Burleigh by Edmund Blair Leighton
The New Governess by Edmund Blair Leighton
The New Governess by Edmund Blair Leighton
Off by Edmund Blair Leighton
Off by Edmund Blair Leighton
A Picnic Party by Edmund Blair Leighton
A Picnic Party by Edmund Blair Leighton
Sweet Solitude by Edmund Blair Leighton
Sweet Solitude by Edmund Blair Leighton
Ribbons and Lace by Edmund Blair Leighton
Ribbons and Lace by Edmund Blair Leighton
Where there's a will by Edmund Blair Leighton
Where there’s a will by Edmund Blair Leighton
Yes or No? by Edmund Blair Leighton
Yes or No? by Edmund Blair Leighton

12 Dashing Men of the Regency Era

The Regency (1795–1837) was a period when King George III of England was deemed unfit to rule and his son, the Prince of Wales, ruled as his proxy as Prince Regent. On the death of his father in 1820, the Prince Regent became George IV.

It was a time of great elegance and achievement in the fine arts and architecture, shaping and altering the societal structure of Britain and influencing the world.

Upper-class society, in particular, flourished in a Renaissance of culture and refinement.

Here are 12 men from the Regency Era—some war heroes, some artists, but all embodying the proud spirit of the age.

1. Alexander Ivanovitch, Prince of Chernichev (1786-1857) by Sir Thomas Lawrence, 1818

Alexander Ivanovitch, Prince of Chernichev (1786-1857) by Sir Thomas Lawrence - 1818

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30 Glorious Paintings of 19th-Century Europe

Have you ever considered taking up painting as a hobby? What would inspire you?

How about hiking through the Austrian Alps and northern Italy?

That’s exactly what awoke a desire to put brush to paper for 19th-century Austrian watercolor artist Rudolf von Alt.

The Dachstein from Vorderer Gosausee by Rudolf von Alt, 1838
The Dachstein from Vorderer Gosausee by Rudolf von Alt, 1838
A view of Vienna from the Prater with figures in the foreground by Rudolf von Alt, 1834
A view of Vienna from the Prater with figures in the foreground by Rudolf von Alt, 1834

A trip to Italy might also work wonders for your creativity.

Von Alt completed a number of paintings featuring the glorious architecture of European cities.

Figures on the Riva degli Schiavone by Rudolf von Alt, 1840
Figures on the Riva degli Schiavone by Rudolf von Alt, 1840
The Pantheon and Piazza della Rotonda in Rome by Rudolf von Al, 1835
The Pantheon and Piazza della Rotonda in Rome by Rudolf von Al, 1835
St. Peter's from the Vatican Garden by Rudolf von Alt, 1838
St. Peter’s from the Vatican Garden by Rudolf von Alt, 1838
View of Naples by Rudolf von Alt, c1870
View of Naples by Rudolf von Alt, c1870
The Stephansdom from Stock im Eisen Platz by Rudolf Ritter von Alt, 1832
The Stephansdom from Stock im Eisen Platz by Rudolf Ritter von Alt, 1832
The Cathedral Square in Cattaro by Rudolf von Alt, 1841
The Cathedral Square in Cattaro by Rudolf von Alt, 1841
Josefsplatz in Vienna by Rudolf von Alt, 1831
Josefsplatz in Vienna by Rudolf von Alt, 1831
View of Budapest with Chain Bridge and the Royal Palace by Rudolf von Alt, 1880
View of Budapest with Chain Bridge and the Royal Palace by Rudolf von Alt, 1880
Overlooking the Charles Church and the Polytechnic Institute by Rudolf von Alt, 1843
Overlooking the Charles Church and the Polytechnic Institute by Rudolf von Alt, 1843
The Neue Markt (Mehlmarkt) by Rudolf von Alt, 1836
The Neue Markt (Mehlmarkt) by Rudolf von Alt, 1836
The main square in Linz by Rudolf von Alt, 1839
The main square in Linz by Rudolf von Alt, 1839
View of the Basilica San Antonio in Padua by Rudolf von Alt, 1836
View of the Basilica San Antonio in Padua by Rudolf von Alt, 1836
The Esplanade of Ischl by Rudolf von Alt
The Esplanade of Ischl by Rudolf von Alt
Vienna, St. Michael the Hofburg and old Burgtheater by Rudolf von Alt, 1888
Vienna, St. Michael the Hofburg and old Burgtheater by Rudolf von Alt, 1888
Varenna at Lake Como by Rudolf von Alt, 1843
Varenna at Lake Como by Rudolf von Alt, 1843
The Lower Austrian Landhaus in Vienna from Minoritenplatz by Rudolf von Alt, 1845
The Lower Austrian Landhaus in Vienna from Minoritenplatz by Rudolf von Alt, 1845
The Jägerzeile in Vienna by Rudolf von Alt, 1844
The Jägerzeile in Vienna by Rudolf von Alt, 1844
The parish church in Ofen by Rudolf von Alt, 1845
The parish church in Ofen by Rudolf von Alt, 1845
View of the Alservorstadt by Rudolf von Alt, 1872
View of the Alservorstadt by Rudolf von Alt, 1872
The Main Square in Bratislava by Rudolf von Alt, 1843
The Main Square in Bratislava by Rudolf von Alt, 1843
Vienna, Freyung mit Austriabrunnen by Rudolf von Alt, 1847
Vienna, Freyung mit Austriabrunnen by Rudolf von Alt, 1847
Street in Palermo by Rudolf von Alt, 1867
Street in Palermo by Rudolf von Alt, 1867
The Tyn Church in Prague by Rudolf von Alt, 1843
The Tyn Church in Prague by Rudolf von Alt, 1843
View of the Doge's Palace in Venice by Rudolf von Alt, 1874
View of the Doge’s Palace in Venice by Rudolf von Alt, 1874
Bridge Tower Lesser Town in Prague by Rudolf von Alt, 1843
Bridge Tower Lesser Town in Prague by Rudolf von Alt, 1843

Painting interior views was also a much-admired skill of von Alt’s, bringing him a lot of attention in Vienna.

BSalon of Princess Henriette Odescalchi Castle in Hirtenberg by Rudolf von Alt, 1853
BSalon of Princess Henriette Odescalchi Castle in Hirtenberg by Rudolf von Alt, 1853
Staircase of the Upper Belvedere in Vienna by Rudolf von Alt, 1882
Staircase of the Upper Belvedere in Vienna by Rudolf von Alt, 1882
The Japanese Salon, Villa Hügel, Hietzing, Vienna by Rudolf von Alt, 1855
The Japanese Salon, Villa Hügel, Hietzing, Vienna by Rudolf von Alt, 1855

Victorian Artist Charles Burton Barber Captures the Special Bond Between Children and Pets

Growing up in the popular Victorian family seaside resort of Great Yarmouth, England, it might have been happy childhood memories that helped Charles Burton Barber become such a successful Victorian artist of children and pets.

Such was the high regard for his skill, that in 1883 Barber was elected a member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters—the only art society dedicated to the Victorian artist specializing in oils.

Great Yarmouth, England, c. 1895
Victorian-era Great Yarmouth, England

His particular talent was for sentimental portraits of dogs, which helped win royal commissions from animal-lover Queen Victoria.

Barber succeeded Sir Edwin Landseer as the Queen’s court painter. One of his most renowned works is of Marco—a beautiful Pomeranian she bought on a trip to Florence, Italy, in 1888.

Marco on the Queen's Breakfast Table by Charles Burton Barber, 1893
Marco on the Queen’s Breakfast Table by Charles Burton Barber, 1893

Related post: Queen Victoria’s Beloved Pomeranians

Queen Victoria and Her Servant John Brown by Charles Burton Barber
Queen Victoria and Her Servant John Brown by Charles Burton Barber

Related post: Queen Victoria, Last of the Hanoverians

The next two paintings, “In Disgrace” and “A Special Pleader”, are two of Victorian artist Barber’s most famous works.

You may notice something similar—it’s the same little girl wiping her tears, having been sent to stand in the corner for naughty behavior.

In each painting, Barber captures the special relationship between dogs and humans. The little puppy is sharing her punishment, while the border collie appears to be pleading with her parents to forgive her.

In Disgrace by Charles Burton Barber
In Disgrace by Charles Burton Barber

Demand for Barber’s work is reflected in auction prices. In Disgrace fetched $639,964 at Christie’s in 2007, with A Special Pleader having been sold for $442,500 ten years earlier.

A Special Pleader by Charles Burton Barber, 1893
A Special Pleader by Charles Burton Barber, 1893
A Little Girl And Her Sheltie by Charles Burton Barber
A Little Girl And Her Sheltie by Charles Burton Barber

Painting animals with human-like expressions was a popular style for the Victorian artist.

Barber knew how to not only convey expressions like excitement, longing, sadness, and protection, but also to render them in a more natural, animal-like way.

The New Whip by Charles Burton Barber
The New Whip by Charles Burton Barber
A Monster by Charles Burton Barber, 1866
A Monster by Charles Burton Barber, 1866
The Rivals by Charles Burton Barber
The Rivals by Charles Burton Barber
Not Much Wrong by Charles Burton Barber
Not Much Wrong by Charles Burton Barber
The Little Baker With Her Two Assistants by Charles Burton Barber
The Little Baker With Her Two Assistants by Charles Burton Barber
A Mischievous Puppy by Charles Burton Barber, 1886
A Mischievous Puppy by Charles Burton Barber, 1886
The Hiding Place by Charles Burton Barber, 1891
The Hiding Place by Charles Burton Barber, 1891
Off to School by Charles Burton Barber, 1883
Off to School by Charles Burton Barber, 1883

The painting “Suspense” shown below was owned by rival soap manufacturers Pears and Lever Brothers. It depicts a beautiful young girl saying grace over breakfast with her pet cat and Jack Russell gazing longingly at the feast before her.

Suspense by Charles Burton Barber
Suspense by Charles Burton Barber
Blond and Brunette by Charles Burton Barber, 1879
Blond and Brunette by Charles Burton Barber, 1879
Coaxing Is Better by Charles Burton Barber
Coaxing Is Better by Charles Burton Barber
Trust by Charles Burton Barber, 1888
Trust by Charles Burton Barber, 1888
No ride today by Charles Burton Barber
No ride today by Charles Burton Barber
Girl with Dogs by Charles Burton Barber, 1893
Girl with Dogs by Charles Burton Barber, 1893
The Two Invalids by Charles Burton Barber
The Two Invalids by Charles Burton Barber
The Broken String by Charles Burton Barber
The Broken String by Charles Burton Barber
I am higher! by Charles Burton Barber
I am higher! by Charles Burton Barber
The New Keeper by Charles Burton Barber, 1888
The New Keeper by Charles Burton Barber, 1888
A Scratch Pack by Charles Burton Barber
A Scratch Pack by Charles Burton Barber
Time to Wake Up by Charles Burton Barber, 1883
Time to Wake Up by Charles Burton Barber, 1883
Lost Chance by Charles Burton Barber
Lost Chance by Charles Burton Barber
Sweethearts by Charles Burton Barber, 1890
Sweethearts by Charles Burton Barber, 1890

Parasols—the Essential Accessory for a Lady

On a windy summer’s day in 1875, Claude Monet painted his wife Camille with their son Jean out for a stroll in Argenteuil, a suburb of Paris.

Splashes of color and Monet’s use of light help capture a moment of spontaneity.

Woman with a Parasol - Madame Monet and Her Son by Claude Monet, 1875
Woman with a Parasol – Madame Monet and Her Son by Claude Monet, 1875

Holding her parasol tightly against the wind, Camille is set against an azure sky with wispy white clouds, looking down at Monet from a rise in the meadow.

Camille was modeling for a theme that Victorians loved—”Lady With a Parasol”.

Victorian poet Emily Dickinson likened a lady opening a parasol to a butterfly spreading its wings in the warmth of the sun.

Painted Lady butterfly. Credit SD Dirk, flickr
Painted Lady butterfly. Credit SD Dirk, flickr
From Cocoon forth a Butterfly
As Lady from her Door
Emerged—a Summer Afternoon—
… Her pretty Parasol be seen
Contracting in a Field
—Emily Dickinson.
Young Woman with a Parasol by Winslow Homer, 1880
Young Woman with a Parasol by Winslow Homer, 1880

We most often associate the beautiful image of a lady with a parasol with the Victorian and Edwardian Eras. But as far back as the 5th century BC, the Ancient Greeks thought parasols were an indispensable accessory for a lady of fashion.

Morning Walk by John Singer Sargent, 1888
Morning Walk by John Singer Sargent, 1888
Woman and Parasol by Albert Edelfelt, 1886
Woman and Parasol by Albert Edelfelt, 1886
A Walk by the River by Andre Brouillet (1857 - 1914)
A Walk by the River by Andre Brouillet (1857 – 1914)
The White Parasol by Robert Lewis Reid, 1907
The White Parasol by Robert Lewis Reid, 1907
Summer by Colin Campbell Cooper, 1918
Summer by Colin Campbell Cooper, 1918

The Ancient Chinese attached collapsible parasols to their ceremonial carriages and the Ancient Egyptians used a fan of palm-leaves on a long handle, similar to those now carried ceremoniously in papal processions.

Terracotta Army. Exhibition. Credit Tomasz Sienicki
Terracotta Army. Exhibition. Credit Tomasz Sienicki

Roman maid-servants saw it as a post of honour to carry a parasol over their mistresses.

According to Ancient Indian legend, in around the 4th century BC, a skilled bowman named Jamadagni practiced shooting arrows and his wife Renuka helped recover them so that he could continue practicing and become the best bowman in all India. Jamadagni fired one arrow so far that it took Renuka a whole day to find it, the heat of the sun exhausting her. In anger, Jamadagni fired an arrow at the sun. Begging for mercy, the sun gave Renuka the gift of a beautiful parasol.

Nature has been providing us with parasols since the dawn of mankind. Tree canopies absorb the sun’s ultraviolet rays, providing natural shade.

Woman Sitting with a Parasol by Aristide Maillol, 1895
Woman Sitting with a Parasol by Aristide Maillol, 1895

Parasol Pines are native to Southern Europe and the Middle East, their shape resembling a parasol.

View of Cannes with Parasol Pines by William Stanley Haseltine, 1869
View of Cannes with Parasol Pines by William Stanley Haseltine, 1869

Parasols came in many shapes, sizes, designs, and colors—most were personal hand-held devices, others were larger for sharing.

Woman with Parasol by Frederick Carl Frieseke, c. 1912
Woman with Parasol by Frederick Carl Frieseke, c. 1912
The Green Parasol by Guy Orlando Rose, c. 1909
The Green Parasol by Guy Orlando Rose, c. 1909
Lady with a Parasol by Hamilton Hamilton
Lady with a Parasol by Hamilton Hamilton
The Garden Parasol by Frederick Carl Frieseke, c. 1910
The Garden Parasol by Frederick Carl Frieseke, c. 1910

Whatever shape or size, they are beautiful objects that are still admired today. Let’s take a closer look at some from the Victorian era.

1850s. American. Silk, metal, wood, ivory
1850s. American. Silk, metal, wood, ivory

The above parasol is typical of the 1850s, with its tiered canopy echoing the shape of the skirt. The fabric was woven à la disposition—specifically for the shape of the parasol.

1860s. American. Silk, ivory, metal
1860s. American. Silk, ivory, metal

The “marquise parasol” above was originally designed for Madame de Pompadour—the chief mistress of King Louis XV at Versailles. With its tilting top that could be angled for flirtatious effect and its embossed floral motif lining the edge, it was the perfect accessory for the art of coquetry.

1868. French. Silk, icory, metal
1868. French. Silk, icory, metal

Made for the wife of a prominent Civil War general from New York, the parasol above features an exquisitely carved ivory handle depicting the idealized Greek female form and the shell-like curves typical of Rococo.

1905. American. Cotton, wood. metal
1905. American. Cotton, wood. metal

Parasols were often matched to the attire of the wearer. This Edwardian-era example was made of eyelet fabric—popular for a number of summer garments.

Often seen at the races, this type of parasol not only showcased the latest fashion but also displayed the wealth and social status of the owner.

At the Races by Louis Anquetin, c. 1895
At the Races by Louis Anquetin, c. 1895

Parasol covers could be patterned with complex forms—usually floral with curvilinear scrolling. The chain link motif shown below was unusual for covers, being found more often on handle designs in the last quarter of the 19th century.

1880s. French. Silk
1880s. French. Silk

The Belgian appliqué net lace shown below would have been used on a very expensive parasol. Attaching the separately-made covers was the last stage of the manufacturing process.

c. 1885. Belgian Net Lace Parasol
c. 1885. Belgian Net Lace Parasol

The marbleized handle tip of the beautiful French-made parasol below has intricate metal and enamel accents. Luxury parasols had fine quality finishes on the inside. Each rib and stretcher has been individually covered with fabric. The shank is as beautifully made as the handle, with a high-quality polished wood finish.

1895. French. Silk, sood, metal, marble, enamel
1895. French. Silk, sood, metal, marble, enamel

To Victorians and Edwardians, parasols were very special accessories that not only performed an important function but were also an expression of personal taste, wealth, and social class.

Loving Flower Care by Victor Gabriel Gilbert, 1933
Loving Flower Care by Victor Gabriel Gilbert, 1933
A Solitary Ramble by Julian Ashton, 1888
A Solitary Ramble by Julian Ashton, 1888
The green parasol by Emanuel Phillips Fox, 1912
The green parasol by Emanuel Phillips Fox, 1912
Group with Parasols by John Singer Sargent, 1905
Group with Parasols by John Singer Sargent, 1905
Woman with Parasol by Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoi, 1883
Woman with Parasol by Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoi, 1883
Lady with a Parasol by Tom Roberts, c. 1893
Lady with a Parasol by Tom Roberts, c. 1893
An Elegant Lady with a Parasol by Jules-Alexandre Grun, 1905
An Elegant Lady with a Parasol by Jules-Alexandre Grun, 1905
Woman with a parasol by Édouard Manet, 1881
Woman with a parasol by Édouard Manet, 1881

The Art of Café Society

Café society was the name given to the “Beautiful People” and “Bright Young Things” who gathered in fashionable cafes in New York, Paris, and London beginning in the 1890s.

But the history of cafes goes back much farther.

During the middle ages, coffeehouses spread across the Ottoman Empire, starting in what is now Saudi Arabia, then opening in Syria, Egypt, and Istanbul.

Describing the Persian coffeehouse scene in the 17th-century, French traveler Jean Chardin wrote:

People engage in conversation, for it is there that news is communicated and where those interested in politics criticize the government in all freedom and without being fearful since the government does not heed what the people say.

Chardin noted that games like chess and checkers were played, along with poets and preachers telling stories in verse or as moral lessons.

Trade with the Ottoman Empire brought coffeehouses to Europe via the Republic of Venice in around 1629, with the first coffeehouse in England opening in Oxford in 1652.

Grand Café, Oxford. Credit Kake, flickr
Grand Café, Oxford. Credit Kake, flickr

Here, at what is now the Grand Café in Oxford, 17th-century luminaries gathered to discuss a whole range of ideas based on reason—what we now refer to as the Enlightenment.

Whether you visit alone to think and contemplate, or to join friends and chat about life, work, and the ways of the world, the next time you settle in at Starbucks or Costa Coffee or a host of other modern cafés, take a moment to pause and reflect on what these places actually represent.

They are where our modern ideas of liberty, progress, tolerance, and fraternity were born.

El Cafe by Jose Jimenez y Aranda
El Cafe by Jose Jimenez y Aranda
Garden Cafe on the River Elbe by Max Liebermann - circa 1922
Garden Cafe on the River Elbe by Max Liebermann – circa 1922
In Café Bauer by Lesser Ury, 1895
In Café Bauer by Lesser Ury, 1895
Terrace Scene-Musée Lorrain by Léon Voirin (1833-1887)
Terrace Scene-Musée Lorrain by Léon Voirin (1833-1887)
In Front of the Cafe by Lesser Ury - circa 1920-1929
In Front of the Cafe by Lesser Ury – circa 1920-1929
Cafe de la Paix, Paris by Constantin Alexeevich Korovin
Cafe de la Paix, Paris by Constantin Alexeevich Korovin
In the Cafe by Pyotr Nilus - 1901
In the Cafe by Pyotr Nilus – 1901
Cafe de Paris by Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida - 1885
Cafe de Paris by Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida – 1885
Cafe along a River by Luigi Loir
Cafe along a River by Luigi Loir
La Guinguette, an outdoor cafe in Montmartre by Vincent van Gogh, 1886
La Guinguette, an outdoor cafe in Montmartre by Vincent van Gogh, 1886
Outdoor Cafe on Staufenplatz by Heinrich Hermanns
Outdoor Cafe on Staufenplatz by Heinrich Hermanns
Paris. Cafe de la Paix by Constantin Alexeevich Korovin - 1906
Paris. Cafe de la Paix by Constantin Alexeevich Korovin – 1906
The terrace of the café of the glacier, place Stanislas in Nancy by Léon Joseph Voirin (1833-1887)
The terrace of the café of the glacier, place Stanislas in Nancy by Léon Joseph Voirin (1833-1887)
The Cafe on the terrace at St Ile de Yeu by Henri Lebasque - circa 1919
The Cafe on the terrace at St Ile de Yeu by Henri Lebasque – circa 1919
Woman in a Cafe by Edgar Degas - circa 1877
Woman in a Cafe by Edgar Degas – circa 1877
Women on a Cafe Terrace in the Evening by Edgar Degas - 1877
Women on a Cafe Terrace in the Evening by Edgar Degas – 1877
At the Cafe by Felix Vallotton - 1909
At the Cafe by Felix Vallotton – 1909
Cafe Maxim, Paris by Jean-Louis Forain
Cafe Maxim, Paris by Jean-Louis Forain
Night Cafe by Axel Torneman - circa 1905-1906
Night Cafe by Axel Torneman – circa 1905-1906
El Cafe de Montmartre by Santiago Rusiñol Prats - 1890
El Cafe de Montmartre by Santiago Rusiñol Prats – 1890
Conversation at the Cafe by Giovanni Boldini - 1877-1878
Conversation at the Cafe by Giovanni Boldini – 1877-1878
At the Cafe by Frederick Childe Hassam - 1887-1889
At the Cafe by Frederick Childe Hassam – 1887-1889
Hailing a Cab outside the Cafe Americain by Jean-Georges Béraud - circa 1890
Hailing a Cab outside the Cafe Americain by Jean-Georges Béraud – circa 1890
The Boulevards, Evening in Front of the Cafe Napolitain by Jean-Georges Béraud
The Boulevards, Evening in Front of the Cafe Napolitain by Jean-Georges Béraud
Street Corner on Karl Johan, Grand Cafe by Edvard Munch - 1883
Street Corner on Karl Johan, Grand Cafe by Edvard Munch – 1883
Young Woman in a Cafe by Jean-François Raffaëlli
Young Woman in a Cafe by Jean-François Raffaëlli
A Parisian Cafe by Ilia Efimovich Repin - 1875
A Parisian Cafe by Ilia Efimovich Repin – 1875
At the Cafe by Pierre Auguste Renoir - 1877
At the Cafe by Pierre Auguste Renoir – 1877
Cafe en la terraza by Julio Vila Prades
Cafe en la terraza by Julio Vila Prades
The Terrace Cafe, Mar del Plata, Argentina by Eugenio Alvarez Dumont - 1912
The Terrace Cafe, Mar del Plata, Argentina by Eugenio Alvarez Dumont – 1912
Parisian Cafe by Constantin Alexeevich Korovin
Parisian Cafe by Constantin Alexeevich Korovin
Paris Cafe by Alfred Henry Maurer - circa 1904
Paris Cafe by Alfred Henry Maurer – circa 1904
Cafe-Concert by Édouard Manet - 1878
Cafe-Concert by Édouard Manet – 1878
Moulin de la Galette by Isaac Israëls, 1906
Moulin de la Galette by Isaac Israëls, 1906
The Cafe by Pierre Auguste Renoir - circa 1874-1877
The Cafe by Pierre Auguste Renoir – circa 1874-1877
At the Cafe by Jean-Louis Forain - circa 1879
At the Cafe by Jean-Louis Forain – circa 1879
Cafe sur la Port by Henri Lebasque
Cafe sur la Port by Henri Lebasque
In a Cafe by Gustave Caillebotte - 1880
In a Cafe by Gustave Caillebotte – 1880
Cafe de la Paix by Richard Edward Miller - circa 1905
Cafe de la Paix by Richard Edward Miller – circa 1905
A Parisian Cafe by Edouaro Leon Garrido - 1886
A Parisian Cafe by Edouaro Leon Garrido – 1886
In the cafe by Gotthardt Kuehl, 1915
In the cafe by Gotthardt Kuehl, 1915
An Elegant Lady in Black in a Cafe by Pompeo Mariani
An Elegant Lady in Black in a Cafe by Pompeo Mariani
Cafe in Venice by Manuel Domínguez Sánchez
Cafe in Venice by Manuel Domínguez Sánchez
Cafe De Paris by Richard Edward Miller
Cafe De Paris by Richard Edward Miller
The Cafe Terrace on the Place de Forum, Arles, At Night by Vincent van Gogh - 1888
The Cafe Terrace on the Place de Forum, Arles, At Night by Vincent van Gogh – 1888
In the Cafe by Isaac Israels - circa 1905
In the Cafe by Isaac Israels – circa 1905
Terrasse De Cafe by Delphin Enjolras
Terrasse De Cafe by Delphin Enjolras
Night Cafe by Sergei Arsenevich Vinogradov - 1901
Night Cafe by Sergei Arsenevich Vinogradov – 1901
Cafe by Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin - 1907
Cafe by Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin – 1907
The Cafe Royal, London by Sir William Orpen, R.A., R.H.A. - 1912
The Cafe Royal, London by Sir William Orpen, R.A., R.H.A. – 1912
Cafe de Paris by Jean-Georges Béraud - circa 1900
Cafe de Paris by Jean-Georges Béraud – circa 1900
At the Cafe by Robert Koehler - circa 1887
At the Cafe by Robert Koehler – circa 1887
The Night Cafe by Luigi Loir
The Night Cafe by Luigi Loir
In A Paris Cafe by Boris Grigoriev, 1914
In A Paris Cafe by Boris Grigoriev, 1914
Café Bauer by Leo Lesser Ury, 1889
Café Bauer by Leo Lesser Ury, 1889
Cafe by Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, 1907
Cafe by Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, 1907

16 Albert Lynch Paintings from the Belle Époque

Born in Trujillo, Peru, in 1851, Albert Lynch moved to Paris to study at one of the most prestigious and influential art schools of the 19th century—l’École des Beaux-Arts.

Working under the guidance of Jules Achille Noël, Gabriel Ferrier and Henri Lehmann, Lynch reached a standard that was good enough to show at the Paris Salon in 1890 and 1892, and also the Exposition Universelle of 1900, where he was awarded a gold medal.

Preferring pastel, gouache and watercolor, Lynch painted society women “in the spirit of the Belle Époque”. He also illustrated some high profile novels of the period including Camille by Alexandre Dumas, fils (the son of Alexandre Dumas of The Count of Monte Cristo fame), Le Père Goriot by Honoré de Balzac and La Parisienne by Henry Becque.

Gathering Flowers by Albert Lynch
Gathering Flowers by Albert Lynch
Head of a Girl by Albert Lynch
Head of a Girl by Albert Lynch
Tea Time by Albert Lynch
Tea Time by Albert Lynch
Portrait Of An Elegant Lady by Albert Lynch
Portrait Of An Elegant Lady by Albert Lynch
Embarking on a Voyage by Albert Lynch
Embarking on a Voyage by Albert Lynch
In the Garden by Albert Lynch
In the Garden by Albert Lynch
Suivez moi by Albert Lynch
Suivez moi by Albert Lynch
Portrait of a Young Woman by Albert Lynch
Portrait of a Young Woman by Albert Lynch
Portrait Of A Lady In Blue by Albert Lynch
Portrait Of A Lady In Blue by Albert Lynch
The Print Connoisseurs by Albert Lynch
The Print Connoisseurs by Albert Lynch
A Young Beauty with Flowers in her Hair by Albert Lynch
A Young Beauty with Flowers in her Hair by Albert Lynch
Young woman with hat by Albert Lynch
Young woman with hat by Albert Lynch
A Lady With a Fan by Albert Lynch
A Lady With a Fan by Albert Lynch
The New Partition by Albert Lynch
The New Partition by Albert Lynch
Fresh From the Garden by Albert Lynch
Fresh From the Garden by Albert Lynch
The Letter by Albert Lynch
The Letter by Albert Lynch
Other paintings of society women from Albert Lynch
Other paintings of society women from Albert Lynch

Art for the Day – Daniel Ridgway Knight

More than 100 years ago, high above the banks of the Seine River in Rolleboise, France, Daniel Ridgway Knight set up his easel to paint working women in the fields, vineyards, and gardens surrounding the beautiful valley.

Today, if you were to sit and have lunch at the restaurant of Hotel Domain de la Corniche, you would be overlooking the same stretch of river depicted in several of Ridgway Knight’s paintings.

Hotel Domain de la Corniche
Hotel Domain de la Corniche

Born in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania in 1839, Knight trained in Paris under Gleyre at the École des Beaux-Arts. Gleyre taught a number of prominent artists, including Monet, Renoir, Sisley and Whistler.

After some years working under Meissonier, a painter of immensely detailed Napoleonic military scenes, Knight bought a house and studio in Poissy on the Seine.

Winning several awards at the Paris Salon, the Exposition Universelle, 1889, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Daniel Ridway Knight is best remembered for his soulful depictions of women going about their daily work in and around the Seine River valley—sometimes stopping to talk, to rest, and to dream.

A Garden above the Seine, Rolleboise by Daniel Ridgway Knight
A Garden above the Seine, Rolleboise by Daniel Ridgway Knight
A Field of Flowers by Daniel Ridgway Knight
A Field of Flowers by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Women Washing Clothes by a Stream by Daniel Ridgway Knight, 1898
Women Washing Clothes by a Stream by Daniel Ridgway Knight, 1898
Watering the Garden by Daniel Ridgway Knight, 1912
Watering the Garden by Daniel Ridgway Knight, 1912
Two Women Fishing by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Two Women Fishing by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Three Women in a Landscape by Daniel Ridgway Knight, 1881
Three Women in a Landscape by Daniel Ridgway Knight, 1881
The Siesta by Daniel Ridgway Knight - 1882
The Siesta by Daniel Ridgway Knight – 1882
The Sewing Circle by Daniel Ridgway Knight
The Sewing Circle by Daniel Ridgway Knight
The Seine at Vernon by Daniel Ridgway Knight
The Seine at Vernon by Daniel Ridgway Knight
The Rose Garden by Daniel Ridgway Knight
The Rose Garden by Daniel Ridgway Knight
The Meeting by Daniel Ridgway Knight, c. 1888
The Meeting by Daniel Ridgway Knight, c. 1888
The Honeymoon Breakfast by Daniel Ridgway Knight
The Honeymoon Breakfast by Daniel Ridgway Knight
The Flower Boat by Daniel Ridgway Knight
The Flower Boat by Daniel Ridgway Knight
The Grape Harvest by Daniel Ridgway Knight. Image courtesy of Rehs Galleries, Inc., NYC
The Grape Harvest by Daniel Ridgway Knight. Image courtesy of Rehs Galleries, Inc., NYC
The Dancing Lesson by Daniel Ridgway Knight
The Dancing Lesson by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Madeleine in a wheat field by Daniel Ridgway Knight. Image courtesy of Rehs Galleries, Inc., NYC
Madeleine in a wheat field by Daniel Ridgway Knight. Image courtesy of Rehs Galleries, Inc., NYC
The Conversation by Daniel Ridgway Knight
The Conversation by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Spring Blossoms by Daniel Ridgway Knight. Image courtesy of Rehs Galleries, Inc., NYC
Spring Blossoms by Daniel Ridgway Knight. Image courtesy of Rehs Galleries, Inc., NYC
Reverie by Daniel Ridgway Knight, 1866
Reverie by Daniel Ridgway Knight, 1866
Picking Flowers by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Picking Flowers by Daniel Ridgway Knight
On the Terrace by Daniel Ridgway Knight
On the Terrace by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Mending by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Mending by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Julia on the Terrace by Daniel Ridgway Knight, 1909
Julia on the Terrace by Daniel Ridgway Knight, 1909
In the garden by Daniel Ridgway Knight, 1898
In the garden by Daniel Ridgway Knight, 1898
In Her Garden by Daniel Ridgway Knight
In Her Garden by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Hailing the Ferry by Daniel Ridgway Knight, 1888
Hailing the Ferry by Daniel Ridgway Knight, 1888
Girl by a Stream, Flanders by Daniel Ridgway Knight, 1890
Girl by a Stream, Flanders by Daniel Ridgway Knight, 1890
Flower Girls by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Flower Girls by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Fishing by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Fishing by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Fishing by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Fishing by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Far Away Thoughts by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Far Away Thoughts by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Daydreaming by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Daydreaming by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Daydreaming by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Daydreaming by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Contemplation by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Contemplation by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Confidence by Daniel Ridgway Knight - circa 1899
Confidence by Daniel Ridgway Knight – circa 1899
Coffee in the Garden by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Coffee in the Garden by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Chrysanthemums by Daniel Ridgway Knight, 1898. Image courtesy of Rehs Galleries, Inc., NYC
Chrysanthemums by Daniel Ridgway Knight, 1898. Image courtesy of Rehs Galleries, Inc., NYC
Brittany Girl Overlooking Stream by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Brittany Girl Overlooking Stream by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Baiting the Hook by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Breakfast in the Fields by Daniel Ridgway Knight, 1884. Image courtesy of Rehs Galleries, Inc., NYC
Breakfast in the Fields by Daniel Ridgway Knight, 1884. Image courtesy of Rehs Galleries, Inc., NYC
Autumn Evening by Daniel Ridgway Knight
Autumn Evening by Daniel Ridgway Knight
A Pensive Moment by Daniel Ridgway Knight
A Pensive Moment by Daniel Ridgway Knight

40 Fine Art Paintings by Émile Vernon

Émile Vernon (1872-1919) was a French fine arts painter.

Studying at the School of Fine Arts Tours in the Loire Valley, France, he won his first design award in 1888.

Encouraged by this success, he moved to Paris to train under William Bouguereau and Auguste Trouphème in the School of Fine Arts.

Specializing in watercolors, Vernon loved to paint women and children using bright colors in cheerful rural and bucolic settings.

Spring by Emile Vernon, 1913
Spring by Emile Vernon, 1913
Beauty with Flowers Emile Vernon, c. 1910
Beauty with Flowers Emile Vernon, c. 1910
Breton Children Reading Emile Vernon c, 1913
Breton Children Reading Emile Vernon c, 1913
Best of Friends Emile Vernon - 1917
Best of Friends Emile Vernon – 1917
Waiting for the Vet by Emile Vernon - 1919
Waiting for the Vet by Emile Vernon – 1919
Under the Cherry Tree by Emile Vernon - 1899
Under the Cherry Tree by Emile Vernon – 1899
Three Sisters by Emile Vernon - 1912
Three Sisters by Emile Vernon – 1912
Three Graces by Emile Vernonm, Date unknown
Three Graces by Emile Vernonm, Date unknown
The Three Graces by Emile Vernon - Date unknown
The Three Graces by Emile Vernon – Date unknown
A Sweet Glance by Emile Vernon - Date unknown
A Sweet Glance by Emile Vernon – Date unknown
A Summer Rose by Emile Vernon - 1913
A Summer Rose by Emile Vernon – 1913
Summer by Emile Vernon - Date unknown
Summer by Emile Vernon – Date unknown
Roses by Emile Vernon - 1908
Roses by Emile Vernon – 1908
The Rose Girl by Emile Vernon - Date unknown
The Rose Girl by Emile Vernon – Date unknown
Pretty In Pink by Emile Vernon - 1909
Pretty In Pink by Emile Vernon – 1909
Portrait of a Woman by Emile Vernon - Date unknown
Portrait of a Woman by Emile Vernon – Date unknown
Portrait of a Lady by Emile Vernon - Date unknown
Portrait of a Lady by Emile Vernon – Date unknown
Portrait of a Girl by Emile Vernon - Date unknown
Portrait of a Girl by Emile Vernon – Date unknown
New Friends by Emile Vernon, 1917
New Friends by Emile Vernon, 1917
The Little Kittens by Emile Vernon, 1919
The Little Kittens by Emile Vernon, 1919
Her most precious by Emile Vernon - 1919
Her most precious by Emile Vernon – 1919
Girl with Cherry by Emile Vernon, Date unknown
Girl with Cherry by Emile Vernon, Date unknown
Girls by Emile Vernon, Date unknown
Girls by Emile Vernon, Date unknown
Girl Holding a Nest by Emile Vernon, Date unknown
Girl Holding a Nest by Emile Vernon, Date unknown
Girl by the Lemon Tree by Emile Vernon, 1913
Girl by the Lemon Tree by Emile Vernon, 1913
The Flower Garden by Emile Vernon, 1915
The Flower Garden by Emile Vernon, 1915
The Fancy Bonnet by Emile Vernon, Date unknown
The Fancy Bonnet by Emile Vernon, Date unknown
An Elegant Lady With A Yellow Rose by Emile Vernon, Date unknown
An Elegant Lady With A Yellow Rose by Emile Vernon, Date unknown
Elegant Lady with a Bouquet of Roses by Emile Vernon, Date unknown
Elegant Lady with a Bouquet of Roses by Emile Vernon, Date unknown
Young Girl with Anemones by Emile Vernon, Date unknown
Young Girl with Anemones by Emile Vernon, Date unknown
Young Girl with a Rose by Emile Vernon, Date unknown
Young Girl with a Rose by Emile Vernon, Date unknown
A young lady with a mirror by Emile Vernon, Date unknown
A young lady with a mirror by Emile Vernon, Date unknown
Elegant Lady with a Bouquet of Roses by Emile Vernon, Date unknown
Elegant Lady with a Bouquet of Roses by Emile Vernon, Date unknown
Elegant Lady by Emile Vernon, Date unknown
Elegant Lady by Emile Vernon, Date unknown
Country Summer by Emile Vernon - Date unknown
Country Summer by Emile Vernon – Date unknown
The Cherry Bonnet by Emile Vernon, Date unknown
The Cherry Bonnet by Emile Vernon, Date unknown
Cherry Blossom by Emile Vernon, 1916
Cherry Blossom by Emile Vernon, 1916
The Mischievous Puppy by Emile Vernon, 1915
The Mischievous Puppy by Emile Vernon, 1915
Young Woman with a Dragonfly by Emile Vernon - Date unknown
Young Woman with a Dragonfly by Emile Vernon – Date unknown
The Pink Rose by Emile Vernon - Date unknown
The Pink Rose by Emile Vernon – Date unknown

Victorian Artist John Brett

John Brett

John Brett (1831 – 1902). British.

Known for his highly detailed landscapes and influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite movement, John Brett studied under James Duffield Harding and Richard Redgrave before joining the Royal Academy in 1853.

Inspired by Pre-Raphaelite ideals on scientific landscape painting he visited Switzerland in 1858 where he painted The Val d’Aosta (below).

The “Stonebreaker” became his most celebrated work, depicting a young boy smashing stones in a brightly-lit and highly detailed landscape. Embodying a moral message about child labor, the Stonebreaker was lauded by famed art critic John Ruskin.

Travelling the Mediterranean during the 1860s, Brett painted many landscapes with scientific precision.

In the 1870s and 1880s, he painted scenes of Cornwall, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Wight, and most notably the coastline of Wales.

John Brett Val d'Aosta 1858
Val d’Aosta 1858
John Brett - The Stonebreaker, 1858
John Brett – The Stonebreaker, 1858
John Brett - Near Sorrento, 1863
Near Sorrento, 1863
Brett, John - Massa, Bay of Naples, 1864
Massa, Bay of Naples, 1864
John Brett - February in the Isle of Wight, 1866
John Brett – February in the Isle of Wight, 1866
Net Day at St. Ives by John Edward Brett, A.R.A. - 1872
Net Day at St. Ives by John Edward Brett, A.R.A. – 1872
View on the Beach at St. Agnes by John Edward Brett, A.R.A. (1873)
View on the Beach at St. Agnes by John Edward Brett, A.R.A. (1873)
St. Ives by John Edward Brett, A.R.A. - 1872
St. Ives by John Edward Brett, A.R.A. – 1872
John Brett - Southern Coast of Guernsey, 1875
John Brett – Southern Coast of Guernsey, 1875
John Brett - Caernarvon, 1875
John Brett – Caernarvon, 1875
St Ives Bay by John Edward Brett, A.R.A. (1878)
St Ives Bay by John Edward Brett, A.R.A. (1878)
Porth Gwarra by John Edward Brett, A.R.A. - 1880
Porth Gwarra by John Edward Brett, A.R.A. – 1880
Summer Mists off Tol Pedn by John Edward Brett, A.R.A. - 1880
Summer Mists off Tol Pedn by John Edward Brett, A.R.A. – 1880
John Brett - Man of War Rocks, Coast of Dorset, 1884
John Brett – Man of War Rocks, Coast of Dorset, 1884
John Brett - Seascape, 1887
John Brett – Seascape, 1887
John Brett - A North-West Gale off the Longships Lighthouse, 1902
John Brett – A North-West Gale off the Longships Lighthouse, 1902

Dante Gabriel Rossetti—art meets poetry

Dante Gabriel Rossetti—even his name is a work of art.

It is said that to understand him, we must first understand that although he is best remembered for his paintings, he was first and foremost a poet.

O lay your lips against your hand
And let me feel your breath through it,
While through the sense your song shall fit
The soul to understand.



Early life

Born in London to an English mother and Italian father in 1828, Rossetti’s childhood was suffused in the atmosphere of medieval Italy. As a literary scholar, his father obsessed over the works of Dante and spoke mostly Italian.

Home schooled, Rossetti often read the Bible, along with the works of Shakespeare, Dickens, Sir Walter Scott, Lord Byron, and William Blake. He became fascinated with the Gothic horror stories of Edgar Allan Poe.

These influences would become a major source of artistic inspiration for Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti in his early twenties
Dante Gabriel Rossetti in his early twenties

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

Attending preparatory art school followed by the Royal Academy, Rossetti soon grew tired of the mechanistic approach to teaching and preferred to stay at home painting what he desired.

He saw early Victorian art as trivial, sentimental and unimaginative and yearned for a return to pre-Renaissance purity of style and aim.

Feminine Beauty

Poetry and image are closely intertwined in Rossetti’s work. Appreciating female beauty through art was sacred to him. In both poetry and painting, he explored his own fantasies and conceptions about earthly and spiritual love through the theme of female beauty.

In 1850, Rossetti met Elizabeth Siddal, who would become an important model for the Pre-Raphaelite painters. First spotted by a friend in a London hat shop, she became Rossetti’s muse, passion, and eventually his wife.

Proserpine by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1882
Proserpine by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1882

When vain desire at last and vain regret
Go hand in hand to death, and all is vain,
What shall assuage the unforgotten pain
And teach the unforgetful to forget?

Join us in the Gallery as we listen to DeBussey’s La damoiselle élue—influenced by the life and work of Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Bocca Baciata by Dante Gabriel Rossetti - 1859
Bocca Baciata by Dante Gabriel Rossetti – 1859
Helen of Troy by Dante Gabriel Rossetti - 1863
Helen of Troy by Dante Gabriel Rossetti – 1863
Beata Beatrix by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1864
Beata Beatrix by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1864
The Blue Bower by Dante Gabriel Rossetti - 1865
The Blue Bower by Dante Gabriel Rossetti – 1865
Sybilla Palmifera by Dante Gabriel Rossetti - 1866-1870
Sybilla Palmifera by Dante Gabriel Rossetti – 1866-1870
Monna Vanna by Dante Gabriel Rossetti - 1866
Monna Vanna by Dante Gabriel Rossetti – 1866
Regina Cordium by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1866
Regina Cordium by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1866
Monna Rosa by Dante Gabriel Rossetti - 1867
Monna Rosa by Dante Gabriel Rossetti – 1867
The Loving Cup by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1867
The Loving Cup by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1867
A Christmas Carol by Dante Gabriel Rossetti - 1867
A Christmas Carol by Dante Gabriel Rossetti – 1867
Reverie by Dante Gabriel Rossetti - 1868
Reverie by Dante Gabriel Rossetti – 1868
Blue Silk Dress (Jane Morris)
Blue Silk Dress (Jane Morris)
Veronica Veronese by Dante Gabriel Rossetti - 1872
Veronica Veronese by Dante Gabriel Rossetti – 1872
Mariana by Dante Gabriel Rossetti - 1870
Mariana by Dante Gabriel Rossetti – 1870
The Bower Meadow by Dante Gabriel Rossetti - 1872
The Bower Meadow by Dante Gabriel Rossetti – 1872
Pandora by Dante Gabriel Rossetti - 1871
Pandora by Dante Gabriel Rossetti – 1871
Aurelia (Fazio's Mistress)
Aurelia (Fazio’s Mistress)
Snowdrops by Dante Gabriel Rossetti - 1873
Snowdrops by Dante Gabriel Rossetti – 1873
A Triple Portrait of May Morris by Dante Gabriel Rossetti - 1874
A Triple Portrait of May Morris by Dante Gabriel Rossetti – 1874
Damsel of the Sanct Grael by Dante Gabriel Rossetti - 1874
Damsel of the Sanct Grael by Dante Gabriel Rossetti – 1874
A Sea-Spell by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1877
A Sea-Spell by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1877
A Vision of Fiammetta by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1878
A Vision of Fiammetta by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1878
La Donna Della Finestra by Dante Gabriel Rossetti - 1879
La Donna Della Finestra by Dante Gabriel Rossetti – 1879
The Day Dream by Dante Gabriel Rossetti - 1880
The Day Dream by Dante Gabriel Rossetti – 1880
Mnemosyne by Dante Gabriel Rossetti - 1881
Mnemosyne by Dante Gabriel Rossetti – 1881
Joan of Arc by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1882
Joan of Arc by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1882

References
Wikipedia.org
VictorianWeb.org
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

American Impressionist Painter Childe Hassam: A 5-Minute Guide

Childe Hassam

Childe Hassam

One of the greatest American Impressionist painters, Frederick Childe Hassam produced over 3000 works in oil, watercolor, etchings, and lithographs.

Pronounced “child HASS’m”, he demonstrated a talent for drawing and watercolor while at primary school.

Childe Hassam illustration for St Nicholas Children's magazine
Childe Hassam illustration for St Nicholas Children’s magazine

At 17, he turned down an offer from his uncle to pay for a Harvard education in favor of working as a wood engraver.

Proving to be a proficient draftsman, he produced engravings for letterheads and newspapers before becoming a freelance illustrator with his own studio.

Read more …

Specializing in illustrations for children’s stories in magazines such as Harper’s Weekly and Scribner’s Monthly, he held his first solo exhibition in Boston in 1883.

Advised by a friend at the Boston Art Club, he took a two-month “study trip” to Europe in the summer of 1883.

Forming the basis of his next exhibition in 1884 were 67 watercolors from his trip to Europe.

Influenced by the Barbizon school—an art movement for Realism in the context of the Romantic Movement—Hassam focused on the use of atmosphere and light in his landscapes.

Canal Scene by Frederick Childe Hassam - 1883
Canal Scene by Frederick Childe Hassam – 1883
Woodland Pond by Frederick Childe Hassam - 1882
Woodland Pond by Frederick Childe Hassam – 1882

French master Jean-Léon Gérôme had these words of advice for Childe Hassam, which he never forgot:

Look around you and paint what you see … render the intense life which surrounds you.
Church Procession, Spanish Steps by Frederick Childe Hassam - circa 1883
Church Procession, Spanish Steps by Frederick Childe Hassam – circa 1883

Taking to heart the words of a noted Boston critic “very pleasant, but not art”, in 1886 Hassam returned to Europe with his wife, settling in a studio in Paris at the center of the art community.

Paris Street Scene by Frederick Childe Hassam
Paris Street Scene by Frederick Childe Hassam

Here, he studied figure drawing and painting at the prestigious Académie Julian but found the teaching stifling,

the Julian academy is the personification of routine … crushing all originality out of growing men. It tends to put them in a rut and it keeps them in it.

Using an innovative change of palette, Hassam painted two versions of Grand Prix Day in 1887. Inspired by the work of French Impressionists, he painted softer, more diffuse colors, full of light, with free brush strokes.

Grand Prix Day by Frederick Childe Hassam - 1887-1888
Grand Prix Day by Frederick Childe Hassam – 1887-1888
Grand Prix Day by Frederick Childe Hassam - 1887
Grand Prix Day by Frederick Childe Hassam – 1887

The completed works garnered attention back home in Boston, with one critic writing,

It is refreshing to note that Mr. Hassam, in the midst of so many good, bad, and indifferent art currents, seems to be paddling his own canoe with a good deal of independence and method. When his Boston pictures of three years ago…are compared with the more recent work…it may be seen how he has progressed.

Exhibiting four paintings at the Exposition Universelle of 1889 in Paris, he won a bronze medal, then moved back to the States to take up residence on New York’s Fifth Avenue, painting the genteel neighborhoods within walking distance of his apartment.

View of Broadway and Fifth Avenue by Frederick Childe Hassam - 1890
View of Broadway and Fifth Avenue by Frederick Childe Hassam – 1890
Spring Morning In The Heart Of The City by Childe Hassam, 1890
Spring Morning In The Heart Of The City by Childe Hassam, 1890
New York is the most beautiful city in the world. There is no boulevard in all Paris that compares to our own Fifth Avenue … the average American still fails to appreciate the beauty of his own country.

Hassam’s career went from strength to strength, earning him as much as $6000 per painting in 1909 (equivalent to roughly $160,000 today).

As New York’s architecture changed, with skyscrapers supplanting stately mansions, Hassam lamented a simpler time when gracious horse-drawn carriages ferried people up and down Fifth Avenue.

Fifth Avenue In Winter by Childe Hassam, 1919
Fifth Avenue In Winter by Childe Hassam, 1919

He tired of the bustling subways, elevated trains, and motor buses, and traveled to Oregon, with its high desert, mountains , and rugged coastline.

Ecola Beach, Oregon by Frederick Childe Hassam - 1904
Ecola Beach, Oregon by Frederick Childe Hassam – 1904

In later life, Hassam produced some of his most distinctive paintings. Inspired by America’s involvement in World War One, he painted the “Flag series” in 1916. Being an avid Francophile, so enthusiastically did he embrace the war effort to help protect French culture that he even volunteered to record the war in Europe, but was declined.

Avenue of the Allies by Frederick Childe Hassam - 1918
Avenue of the Allies by Frederick Childe Hassam – 1918

Chosen by Barack Obama to hang in the Oval Office, the Avenue in the Rain is Hassam’s most famous work from the Flag series. As though viewing through a rain-smeared window, Hassam’s broad brushstrokes make a patriotic statement without overt reference to parades or war.

The Avenue in the Rain bu Childe Hassam, 1917
The Avenue in the Rain bu Childe Hassam, 1917

In his final years, he received a Gold Medal of Honor for lifetime achievement among other awards. However, for denouncing the avant-garde modern art trends of Cubism and Surrealism, some critics viewed him as static and repetitive.

He died peacefully in East Hampton at the age of 75, his legacy, an “abandoned genius” from a bygone time.

In the 1960s and 70s, the resurgence of interest in Impressionism saw his work fetch stratospheric prices.

Home Sweet Home Cottage, East Hampton by Frederick Childe Hassam - circa 1916
Home Sweet Home Cottage, East Hampton by Frederick Childe Hassam – circa 1916

More beautiful paintings from Childe Hassam

Lady in Flower Garden by Frederick Childe Hassam - circa 1891
Lady in Flower Garden by Frederick Childe Hassam – circa 1891
Woman with a Parasol in a Park by Frederick Childe Hassam - 1891
Woman with a Parasol in a Park by Frederick Childe Hassam – 1891
Lady in the Garden by Frederick Childe Hassam - 1897
Lady in the Garden by Frederick Childe Hassam – 1897
The White Dory by Frederick Childe Hassam - 1895
The White Dory by Frederick Childe Hassam – 1895
Rainy Day, Paris by Frederick Childe Hassam - 1893
Rainy Day, Paris by Frederick Childe Hassam – 1893
July Night by Frederick Childe Hassam - 1898
July Night by Frederick Childe Hassam – 1898
Sunday Morning by Frederick Childe Hassam - circa 1897
Sunday Morning by Frederick Childe Hassam – circa 1897
Morning Light by Frederick Childe Hassam - 1914
Morning Light by Frederick Childe Hassam – 1914
Fire Opals by Frederick Childe Hassam - 1912
Fire Opals by Frederick Childe Hassam – 1912
Lilies by Frederick Childe Hassam - 1910
Lilies by Frederick Childe Hassam – 1910
Bleak House, Broadstairs by Frederick Childe Hassam
Bleak House, Broadstairs by Frederick Childe Hassam
Ten Pound Island by Frederick Childe Hassam - 1896
Ten Pound Island by Frederick Childe Hassam – 1896
In Central Park by Frederick Childe Hassam - 1898
In Central Park by Frederick Childe Hassam – 1898
Parc Monceau, Paris by Frederick Childe Hassam - circa 1887-1895
Parc Monceau, Paris by Frederick Childe Hassam – circa 1887-1895
Conversation on the Avenue by Frederick Childe Hassam - circa 1892
Conversation on the Avenue by Frederick Childe Hassam – circa 1892
The Sea by Frederick Childe Hassam - 1892
The Sea by Frederick Childe Hassam – 1892
Promenade at Sunset, Paris by Frederick Childe Hassam - 1888-1889
Promenade at Sunset, Paris by Frederick Childe Hassam – 1888-1889
New York Street Scene by Frederick Childe Hassam - circa 1890
New York Street Scene by Frederick Childe Hassam – circa 1890
Evelyn Benedict at the Isles of Shoals by Frederick Childe Hassam - 1890
Evelyn Benedict at the Isles of Shoals by Frederick Childe Hassam – 1890
Twilight by Frederick Childe Hassam - circa 1888
Twilight by Frederick Childe Hassam – circa 1888
Peonies by Frederick Childe Hassam - 1888
Peonies by Frederick Childe Hassam – 1888
On the Balcony by Frederick Childe Hassam - 1888
On the Balcony by Frederick Childe Hassam – 1888
In the Luxembourg Gardens by Frederick Childe Hassam - 1888
In the Luxembourg Gardens by Frederick Childe Hassam – 1888
In the Sun by Frederick Childe Hassam - 1888
In the Sun by Frederick Childe Hassam – 1888
Mrs. Hassam at Villiers-le-Bel by Frederick Childe Hassam - 1888
Mrs. Hassam at Villiers-le-Bel by Frederick Childe Hassam – 1888
Mrs. Hassam in the Garden by Frederick Childe Hassam - 1888
Mrs. Hassam in the Garden by Frederick Childe Hassam – 1888
Spring (also known as The Artist's Sister) by Frederick Childe Hassam - 1885
Spring (also known as The Artist’s Sister) by Frederick Childe Hassam – 1885
After Breakfast by Frederick Childe Hassam - 1887
After Breakfast by Frederick Childe Hassam – 1887
Feeding Pigeons in the Piazza by Frederick Childe Hassam - circa 1883
Feeding Pigeons in the Piazza by Frederick Childe Hassam – circa 1883
Improvisation by Childe Hassam, 1899
Improvisation by Childe Hassam, 1899
Summer Sunlight (Isles of Shoals) by Childe Hassam, 1892
Summer Sunlight (Isles of Shoals) by Childe Hassam, 1892

12 Paintings That Tell Stories from Auguste Toulmouche

French artist Auguste Toulmouche (1829 – 1890) loved to tell stories. But instead of putting quill to paper, he put brush to canvas.

His paintings share the academic style of the Académie des Beaux-Arts that dominated French art in the mid 19th century.

Playing in Toulmouche’s favor was a trend that lent itself to storytelling—a move towards greater idealism. Although painted in the mid-Victorian era, his themes were often set in the Regency revival and late Georgian periods.

Let us examine 12 paintings from Albert Toulmouche … and the stories they tell.

The Love Letter by Auguste Toulmouche, 1863
The Love Letter by Auguste Toulmouche, 1863

With the prevalence of mobile technology today, it is very hard for us to imagine a time when people relied on letters as their primary means of communication across distance.

Dropping the envelope at her feet, this beautiful lady was obviously keen to open the letter from her lover in a hurry.

Moving near the light of the window, she remains standing. If it were bad news, would she be so hasty?

The letter probably has sweet words for her eyes only—and her corner position in the room gives her the privacy she needs.

The Letter by Auguste Toulmouche, 1879
The Letter by Auguste Toulmouche, 1879

Not all news is good news, as the young lady above might be finding out. She’s left the letter on the table and turned away from it, as if rejecting its message.

Is her fiancé away at war? Has something happened to him? She looks concerned, but not devastated. Perhaps she was expecting his return sooner …

Yet again, it could be bad news from her sister. What story do you think the painting tells?

The Reluctant Bride by Auguste Toulmouche, 1866
The Reluctant Bride by Auguste Toulmouche, 1866

Not a happy bunny …

This young lady is not at all sure she’s doing the right thing. In an age when many marriages were for social standing or financial security, marriage for love was something more akin to dreams than reality.

If I can but see one of my daughters happily settled at Netherfield … and all the others equally well married, I shall have nothing to wish for.Mrs Bennett, Pride and Prejudice.

In a letter to her niece Fanny Catherine Knight, Jane Austen reminded her of how elusive perfection can be:

There are such beings in the world, perhaps one in a thousand, as the creature you and I should think perfection, where grace and spirit are united to worth, where the manners are equal to the heart and understanding; but such a person may not come in your way, or, if he does, he may not be the eldest son of a man of fortune, the near relation of your particular friend, and belonging to your own county.
The New Arrival by Auguste Toulmouche, 1861
The New Arrival by Auguste Toulmouche, 1861
Consolation by Auguste Toulmouche, 1867
Consolation by Auguste Toulmouche, 1867

Families were large, but life was precious. Children died young and mothers were lost during childbirth. Cholera, consumption, and smallpox didn’t care how much money people had—they took the lives of rich and poor alike.

The period theme of Toulmouche’s paintings was a time of war. Many a young handsome officer would have fallen in battle.

Grieving and consolation touched everyone at unexpected times.

Sweet Doing Nothing by Auguste Toulmouche, 1877
Sweet Doing Nothing by Auguste Toulmouche, 1877

Novels helped fuel the hopes and dreams of readers. Have you felt this way when reading—so moved that you had to pause and contemplate the moment?

The 18th-century view that reading contemporary novels was a time-wasting leisure activity gave way to 19th-century ideals on their ability to educate.

While Jane Austen’s novels critiqued the life of the British landed gentry, by the mid-1800’s, the most widely read novel in England was the anti-slavery Uncle Toms Cabin of 1852 by American Harriet Beecher Stowe.

An Afternoon Idyll by Auguste Toulmouche, 1874
An Afternoon Idyll by Auguste Toulmouche, 1874

A good book and an afternoon nap. Doesn’t get much better than that, does it?

It was an age when meal times were strictly adhered to. Breakfast would have been eaten early, leaving a long wait until evening for the main meal of the day.

The Duchess of Devonshire reported having a “sinking feeling” mid-afternoon. We’ve all felt that way, haven’t we? Now we can top-up with countless energy snacks and drinks, but the Duchess had another idea—afternoon tea.

Notice also the chinoiserie screen behind the ladies, reflecting the importance of Chinese motifs in Western culture.

The Admiring Glance by Auguste Toulmouche, 1868
The Admiring Glance by Auguste Toulmouche, 1868
Vanity by Auguste Toulmouche, 1890
Vanity by Auguste Toulmouche, 1890

Mirror, mirror on the wall …

It was a time when keeping up appearances was critical to maintaining social standing.

But perhaps Auguste Toulmouche was using parody to message a decadent Victorian audience.

Romanticism—an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement of the first third of the 19th century—initiated a surge of enthusiasm for all things Greek, including Greek mythology.

In Greek mythology, Narcissus was fixated with his own physical appearance and disdained others around him. Nemesis, the spirit of divine retribution against those who succumb to hubris, attracted him to a pool where he fell in love with his own reflection. Unable to take his eyes of his own image, he lost the reason for living and died, staring at his reflection.

Woman Sitting in Front of a Fireplace by Auguste Toulmouche
Woman Sitting in Front of a Fireplace by Auguste Toulmouche

Here’s an interesting painting. The lady is warming her hands and feet at the burning fire, but taking care not to let the heat tinge her complexion with redness. Another reason that made the fan such an indispensable accessory for the 19th-century lady.

Is there more to this story? Is she burning a love letter … ?

A Garden Stroll by Auguste Toulmuche, 1877
A Garden Stroll by Auguste Toulmouche, 1877

What are friends for but to listen to our stories and grievances? The lady on the right seems genuinely concerned for her friend, or perhaps they are sisters.

The painting reminds us that simple pleasures like a stroll in a park or garden, and sharing polite conversation in good company, are some of the best things in life.

The Blue Dress by Auguste Toulmouche, 1870
The Blue Dress by Auguste Toulmouche, 1870

It’s five minutes past three by the trusty wall clock. Why hasn’t he called? Oh yes, phones haven’t been invented yet …

But back to that clock. During the 19th century, pendulum clocks were some of the most accurate timepieces in existence. Any household that could afford one depended on it.

Conceived by Galileo Galilei in around 1637, the daily life of the 19th century revolved around the pendulum clock.

Hope you enjoyed our time together, strolling through Auguste Toulmouche’s little storybook of history.

30 Beautiful Paintings by Berthe Morisot

In 1894, famed art critic Gustave Geffroy described Berthe Morisot, Marie Bracquemond, and Mary Cassatt as “les trois grandes dames” (the three great ladies) of the Impressionist movement.

Born into a wealthy bourgeois family from Bourges, France, Berthe Morisot learnt how to paint at an early age, having private lessons along with her sisters.

As art students, Berthe and her sister Edma would spend hours in the Louvre copying the great works.

While marriage and family life ended Edma’s art career, Berthe continued to paint, and in 1864 at age 23, she exhibited at the prestigious Salon de Paris—the official, annual exhibition of the Académie des beaux-arts in Paris.

Then in 1874, she stopped exhibiting with the academy and joined the Impressionists, which included Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Alfred Sisley.

Regarded as a “virtuoso colorist”, Berthe created a sense of space and depth with color, painting what she saw and experienced in everyday life. But there is a message in her work—one that tells a story of the class and gender restrictions of the 19th century.

Focusing on family life, her portraits often feature her own daughter, Julie, from her marriage to Édouard Manet’s brother, Eugène.

Portrait of Julie (Berthe's daughter) by Berthe Morisot, 1889
Portrait of Julie (Berthe’s daughter) by Berthe Morisot, 1889
Behind the Blinds by Berthe Morisot, 1879
Behind the Blinds by Berthe Morisot, 1879
Lilacs at Maurecourt by Berthe Morisot, 1874
Lilacs at Maurecourt by Berthe Morisot, 1874
Hide and Seek by Berthe Morisot, 1873
Hide and Seek by Berthe Morisot, 1873
On a Bench by Berthe Morisot, 1889
On a Bench by Berthe Morisot, 1889
Woman and Child on a Balcony by Berthe Morisot, 1872
Woman and Child on a Balcony by Berthe Morisot, 1872
Studying the Violin by Berthe Morisot, 1893
Studying the Violin by Berthe Morisot, 1893
The Pink Dress by Berthe Morisot, c.1870
The Pink Dress by Berthe Morisot, c.1870
Young Girl with a Bird by Berthe Morisot, 1891
Young Girl with a Bird by Berthe Morisot, 1891
Young Woman Watering a Shrub by Berthe Morisot, 1876
Young Woman Watering a Shrub by Berthe Morisot, 1876
The Basket Chair by Berthe Morisot, 1882
The Basket Chair by Berthe Morisot, 1882
In the Dining Room by Berthe Morisot, 1875
In the Dining Room by Berthe Morisot, 1875
Lucie Leon at the Piano by Berthe Morisot, 1892
Lucie Leon at the Piano by Berthe Morisot, 1892
The Cradle by Berthe Morisot, 1872
The Cradle by Berthe Morisot, 1872
The Harbor at Lorient by Berthe Morisot, 1869
The Harbor at Lorient by Berthe Morisot, 1869
After Luncheon by Berthe Morisot, 1881
After Luncheon by Berthe Morisot, 1881
Psyché by Berthe Morisot, 1875
Psyché by Berthe Morisot, 1875
The Lake in the Bois de Boulogne by Berthe Morisot, 1879
The Lake in the Bois de Boulogne by Berthe Morisot, 1879
Eugene Manet and His Daughter in the Garden by Berthe Morisot, 1883
Eugene Manet and His Daughter in the Garden by Berthe Morisot, 1883
Young Girl with Doll by Berthe Morisot, 1884
Young Girl with Doll by Berthe Morisot, 1884
Woman Wearing Gloves ny Berthe Morisot, 1885
Woman Wearing Gloves ny Berthe Morisot, 1885
On the Veranda by Berthe Morisot, 1884
On the Veranda by Berthe Morisot, 1884
On the Lake by Berthe Morisot, 1884
On the Lake by Berthe Morisot, 1884
Doll on a Porch by Berthe Morisot, 1884
Doll on a Porch by Berthe Morisot, 1884
Young Girl with Doll by Berthe Morisot, 1883
Young Girl with Doll by Berthe Morisot, 1883
The Fable by Berthe Morisot, 1883
The Fable by Berthe Morisot, 1883
On the Balcony of Eugene Manet's Room at Bougival by Berthe Morisot, 1881
On the Balcony of Eugene Manet’s Room at Bougival by Berthe Morisot, 1881
Young Woman Picking Oranges by Berthe Morisot, 1889
Young Woman Picking Oranges by Berthe Morisot, 1889
Pasie Sewing in the Garden by Berthe Morisot, 1882
Pasie Sewing in the Garden by Berthe Morisot, 1882
Young Woman and Child, Avenue du Bois by Berthe Morisot, 1894
Young Woman and Child, Avenue du Bois by Berthe Morisot, 1894

20 Romantic Dreamscapes from 19th Century artist Frederic Edwin Church

Frederic Edwin Church loved to dream. He dreamed of mountains, waterfalls, and sunsets. He dreamed of exotic lands shrouded in mist, of waves crashing against craggy cliffs, of reflections in the stillness of dawn’s first light.

Church was a pupil of Thomas Cole, the founder of the Hudson River School of American landscape painters—an art movement influenced by romanticism.

Romanticism was a reaction to the Industrial Revolution and the Enlightenment that emphasized an emotional connection with nature. Romantic paintings used a luminous quality of light to convey idealized scenes depicting the richness and beauty of nature.

Church shows us the wild, untamed frontier landscapes of an unsettled America that were fast disappearing and the dramatic natural wonders he experienced on his travels around the world.

We are reminded of just how small we are in comparison with the magnificence of nature.

Morning in the Tropics by Frederic Edwin Church, 1858
Morning in the Tropics by Frederic Edwin Church, 1858
A Country Home by Frederic Edwin Church, 1854
A Country Home by Frederic Edwin Church, 1854
Landscape in the Adirondacks by Frederic Edwin Church
Landscape in the Adirondacks by Frederic Edwin Church
The Monastery of San Pedro by Frederic Edwin Church, 1879
The Monastery of San Pedro by Frederic Edwin Church, 1879
Landscape in Greece by Frederic Edwin Church, 1873
Landscape in Greece by Frederic Edwin Church, 1873
View in Pittsford, Vt. by Frederic Edwin Church, 1848
View in Pittsford, Vt. by Frederic Edwin Church, 1848
Twilight in the Adirondacks by Frederic Edwin Church
Twilight in the Adirondacks by Frederic Edwin Church
The River of Light by Frederic Edwin Church, 1877
The River of Light by Frederic Edwin Church, 1877
Niagara Falls from the American Side by Frederic Edwin Church, 1867
Niagara Falls from the American Side by Frederic Edwin Church, 1867
The Natural Bridge, Virginia by Frederic Edwin Church, 1852
The Natural Bridge, Virginia by Frederic Edwin Church, 1852
The Falls of Tequendama, Near Bogota, New Granada by Frederic Edwin Church, 1852
The Falls of Tequendama, Near Bogota, New Granada by Frederic Edwin Church, 1852
Coast Scene, Mount Desert by Frederic Edwin Church, 1863
Coast Scene, Mount Desert by Frederic Edwin Church, 1863
Cotopaxi by Frederic Edwin Church, 1855
Cotopaxi by Frederic Edwin Church, 1855
New England Scenery by Frederic Edwin Church, 1851
New England Scenery by Frederic Edwin Church, 1851
South American Landscape by Frederic Edwin Church, 1857
South American Landscape by Frederic Edwin Church, 1857
Scene on the Catskill Creek, New York by Frederic Edwin Church, 1847
Scene on the Catskill Creek, New York by Frederic Edwin Church, 1847
View of Cotopaxi by Frederic Edwin Church, 1857
View of Cotopaxi by Frederic Edwin Church, 1857
Syria by the Sea by Frederic Edwin Church, 1873
Syria by the Sea by Frederic Edwin Church, 1873
Konigsee, Bavaria by Frederic Edwin Church, 1868
Konigsee, Bavaria by Frederic Edwin Church, 1868
The Parthenon by Frederic Edwin Church, 1871
The Parthenon by Frederic Edwin Church, 1871

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40 Pissarro Paintings of French Country Life

Camille Pissarro (1830 – 1903) loved to paint rural scenes from nature.

He loved to express the beauty and truth of nature as it exists in its purest form without adulteration.

Preferring to finish paintings outdoors “en plein air” in a single sitting, it gave his work a more realistic feel.

This is how he explained his technique of painting to a student:

“Work at the same time upon sky, water, branches, ground, keeping everything going on an equal basis and unceasingly rework until you have got it. Paint generously and unhesitatingly, for it is best not to lose the first impression.”

Blossoming trees, light reflections in water, flowering gardens, and village life—Pissarro captured the mood of changing seasons and times of day.

Let Pissarro lift your mood—simply scroll and enjoy!

Apple Trees, Sunset, Eragny by Camille Pissarro, 1896
Apple Trees, Sunset, Eragny by Camille Pissarro, 1896
The Banks of the Oise by Camille Pissarro, 1877
The Banks of the Oise by Camille Pissarro, 1877
Morning, Sun Effect, Eragny by Camille Pissarro, 1899
Morning, Sun Effect, Eragny by Camille Pissarro, 1899
Morning, Autumn Sunlight, Eragny by Camille Pissarro, 1900
Morning, Autumn Sunlight, Eragny by Camille Pissarro, 1900
Spring Morning, Cloudy, Eragny by Camille Pissarro, 1900
Spring Morning, Cloudy, Eragny by Camille Pissarro, 1900
Vegetable Garden in Eragny, Morning by Camille Pissarro, 1901
Vegetable Garden in Eragny, Morning by Camille Pissarro, 1901
Road along the Loing canal by Camille Pissarro
Road along the Loing canal by Camille Pissarro
Fields by Camille Pissarro, 1877
Fields by Camille Pissarro, 1877
Les mathurins, Pontoise by Camille Pissarro, 1877
Les mathurins, Pontoise by Camille Pissarro, 1877
The Garden at Pontoise by Camille Pissarro, 1877
The Garden at Pontoise by Camille Pissarro, 1877
The Vegetable Garden with Trees in Blossom, Spring, Pontoise by Camille Pissarro, 1877
The Vegetable Garden with Trees in Blossom, Spring, Pontoise by Camille Pissarro, 1877
Resting in the woods Pontoise by Camille Pissarro, 1878
Resting in the woods Pontoise by Camille Pissarro, 1878
A Path in the Woods, Pontoise by Camille Pissarro, 1879
A Path in the Woods, Pontoise by Camille Pissarro, 1879
A Street in Pontoise by Camille Pissarro, 1879
A Street in Pontoise by Camille Pissarro, 1879
Cottages at Auvers, near Pontoise by Camille Pissarro, 1879
Cottages at Auvers, near Pontoise by Camille Pissarro, 1879

A Street in Auvers (Thatched Cottage and Cow) by Camille Pissarro, 1880
A Street in Auvers (Thatched Cottage and Cow) by Camille Pissarro, 1880
Landscape at Chaponval by Camille Pissarro, 1880
Landscape at Chaponval by Camille Pissarro, 1880
Le Valhermeil, near Pontoise by Camille Pissarro, 1880
Le Valhermeil, near Pontoise by Camille Pissarro, 1880
Sunset at Valhermeil, near Pontoise by Camille Pissarro, 1880
Sunset at Valhermeil, near Pontoise by Camille Pissarro, 1880
Kitchen Gardens, Pontoise by Camille Pissarro, 1881
Kitchen Gardens, Pontoise by Camille Pissarro, 1881
View Towards Pontoise Prison, in Spring by Camille Pissarro, 1881
View Towards Pontoise Prison, in Spring by Camille Pissarro, 1881
The Snack, Child and Young peasant at Rest by Camille Pissarro, 1882
The Snack, Child and Young peasant at Rest by Camille Pissarro, 1882
Young Woman and Child at the Well by Camille Pissarro, 1882
Young Woman and Child at the Well by Camille Pissarro, 1882
Landscape at Osny near watering by Camille Pissarro, 1883
Landscape at Osny near watering by Camille Pissarro, 1883
Little Bridge on the Voisne, Osny by Camille Pissarro, 1883
Little Bridge on the Voisne, Osny by Camille Pissarro, 1883
View of a Farm in Osny by Camille Pissarro, 1883
View of a Farm in Osny by Camille Pissarro, 1883
A Servant Seated in the Garden at Eragny by Camille Pissarro, 1884
A Servant Seated in the Garden at Eragny by Camille Pissarro, 1884
Old Houses at Eragny by Camille Pissarro, 1884
Old Houses at Eragny by Camille Pissarro, 1884
Apple Trees in Flower, Eragny by Camille Pissarro, 1895
Apple Trees in Flower, Eragny by Camille Pissarro, 1895
The Banks of the Epte at Eragny by Camille Pissarro, 1884
The Banks of the Epte at Eragny by Camille Pissarro, 1884
The Tedder by Camille Pissarro, 1884
The Tedder by Camille Pissarro, 1884
View of Eragny by Camille Pissarro, 1884
View of Eragny by Camille Pissarro, 1884
Shepherdesses by Camille Pissarro, 1887
Shepherdesses by Camille Pissarro, 1887
Mirbeau's Garden, the Terrace by Camille Pissarro, 1892
Mirbeau’s Garden, the Terrace by Camille Pissarro, 1892
Flowering Plum Tree, Eragny by Camille Pissarro, 1894
Flowering Plum Tree, Eragny by Camille Pissarro, 1894
Morning, Flowering Apple Trees, Eragny by Camille Pissarro, 1898
Morning, Flowering Apple Trees, Eragny by Camille Pissarro, 1898
The Artist's Garden at Eragny by Camille Pissarro, 1898
The Artist’s Garden at Eragny by Camille Pissarro, 1898
Apple Trees and Poplars in the Setting Sun by Camille Pissarro, 1901
Apple Trees and Poplars in the Setting Sun by Camille Pissarro, 1901
A Field in Varengeville by Camille Pissarro, 1899
A Field in Varengeville by Camille Pissarro, 1899
Landscape with Strollers Relaxing under the Trees by Camille Pissarro, 1872
Landscape with Strollers Relaxing under the Trees by Camille Pissarro, 1872

30 Romantic Russian Paintings of Ships at Sea by Ivan Aivazovsky

Ivan Aivazovsky (1817 – 1900) loved the sea. Considered one of the greatest marine artists in history, during his 60-year career he created an astonishing 6,000 beautiful paintings.

Sweeping seascapes, golden sunsets, moonlit nights—Aivazovsky surprises and delights.

He paints mighty ships of the line ploughing through rough waters at full sail, or drifting in the stillness of a calm sea.

He captures the grandeur of the Imperial Russian fleet at anchor in the Black Sea ports.

He caresses the canvas with delicate brushwork and translucent layers of diffuse light.

Warmed by the rising sun, great buildings appear from behind morning mists. Anchored tall ships sit shrouded in glowing fog. Incandescent moonlight shimmers across the calm waters of Black Sea bays.

So admired was his work by Russians, that the saying “worthy of Aivazovsky’s brush” described something “ineffably lovely.”

Press “play” to add atmosphere to your sea voyage as you scroll through Aivazovsky’s beautiful paintings.

Sunset in Crimea by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1865
Sunset in Crimea by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1865
The Bay Golden Horn by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1845
The Bay Golden Horn by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1845
Parade of the Black Sea Fleet by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1849
Parade of the Black Sea Fleet by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1849
Sunset - Ivan Aivazovsky, 1866
Sunset – Ivan Aivazovsky, 1866
Near Crimean coast - Ivan Aivazovsky, 1890
Near Crimean coast – Ivan Aivazovsky, 1890
Shipwreck near Gurzuf - Ivan Aivazovsky, 1898
Shipwreck near Gurzuf – Ivan Aivazovsky, 1898


Lunar night by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1857
Lunar night by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1857
Moon Path by Ivan Aivazovsky
Moon Path by Ivan Aivazovsky
Reval - Ivan Aivazovsky, 1844
Reval – Ivan Aivazovsky, 1844
Calm Sea by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1863
Calm Sea by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1863
Ayu-Dag on a foggy day by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1853
Ayu-Dag on a foggy day by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1853


Morning at Sea by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1849
Morning at Sea by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1849
The Bay of Naples at moonlit night. Vesuvius by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1870
The Bay of Naples at moonlit night. Vesuvius by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1870
The Great Roads at Kronstadt by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1836
The Great Roads at Kronstadt by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1836
The sunset on sea by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1848
The sunset on sea by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1848
Smolny Convent by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1849
Smolny Convent by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1849
Farewell by Ivan Aivazovsky
Farewell by Ivan Aivazovsky


Kerch by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1839
Kerch by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1839
The Bay of Naples in the morning by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1843
The Bay of Naples in the morning by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1843
Russian squadron on the raid of Sevastopol by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1846
Russian squadron on the raid of Sevastopol by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1846
View of Constantinople by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1849
View of Constantinople by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1849
The Ninth Wave by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1850
The Ninth Wave by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1850
Ships at anchor by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1851
Ships at anchor by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1851


Windmill on the Sea Coast by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1851
Windmill on the Sea Coast by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1851
Fishermen on the coast of the sea by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1852
Fishermen on the coast of the sea by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1852
Constantinople by Ivan Aivazovsky
Constantinople by Ivan Aivazovsky
Icebergs by Ivan Aivazovsky c.1860
Icebergs by Ivan Aivazovsky c.1860
A Lunar night on Capri by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1841
A Lunar night on Capri by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1841
Searching for Suvivors by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1870
Searching for Suvivors by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1870
Tempest on the sea at night by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1849
Tempest on the sea at night by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1849


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Further Reading
Discover more about Ivan Aivazovsky at Wikipedia.org

30 Beautiful Impressionist Paintings from Frank Myers Boggs “An American in Paris”

The Impressionist painter Frank Myers Boggs loved France.

He loved the quays and monuments along the Seine in Paris. He loved the old harbor and the pretty townhouses in Honfleur. He loved the marina, the fish market, the stepped streets, and the tranquil squares of Marseille.

Myers Boggs was one of several young American artists who crossed the stormy seas of the North Atlantic in the 19th century to live, breathe, and paint the “old world” that is France.

He used a somber tonal palette and restrained impressionist technique to capture marine, harbor, and street scenes.

If you love moody skies, if you love the way golden afternoon light falls on old stone buildings, if you love the pale light of misty mornings, the stillness of reflections and cities filled with spires, then you will love the work of Frank Myers Boggs.

Here are 30 Impressionist paintings to feed your soul today.

The Seine at Paris with the Pont du Carousel by Frank Myers Boggs – 1896
Honfleur by Frank Myers Boggs
Honfleur by Frank Myers Boggs
Pont St. Michel by Frank Myers Boggs
Pont St. Michel by Frank Myers Boggs
Market Day, Dreux by Frank Myers Boggs
Honfleur, France by Frank Myers Boggs
Honfleur, France by Frank Myers Boggs
Scene of a Street in front of the Church of Saint-Medard, Paris by Frank Myers Boggs
Scene of a Street in front of the Church of Saint-Medard, Paris by Frank Myers Boggs
The Port of Marseille by Frank Myers Boggs
The Port of Marseille by Frank Myers Boggs
The Seine, Quay Henri IV, Paris by Frank Myers Boggs
The Seine, Quay Henri IV, Paris by Frank Myers Boggs
In Port by Frank Myers Boggs
Grand Opera House, Paris by Frank Myers Boggs
Grand Opera House, Paris by Frank Myers Boggs
French Harbor Scene by Frank Myers Boggs
French Harbor Scene by Frank Myers Boggs
The Church in Normandie by Frank Myers Boggs
The Church in Normandie by Frank Myers Boggs
Paris, the Porte Saint-Denis by Frank Myers Boggs - 1905
Paris, the Porte Saint-Denis by Frank Myers Boggs – 1905
The Harbor at Honfleur by Frank Myers Boggs
The Harbor at Honfleur by Frank Myers Boggs
View of Paris by Frank Myers Boggs - 1900
View of Paris by Frank Myers Boggs – 1900
View of Notre Dame by Frank Myers Boggs - 1898
View of Notre Dame by Frank Myers Boggs – 1898
The Pont Carousel, Paris by Frank Myers Boggs, 1889
Armistice Day, Paris, 1918 by Frank Boggs
Armistice Day, Paris, 1918 by Frank Boggs
On the Quai, Dieppe by Frank Myers Boggs, 1880
On the Quai, Dieppe by Frank Myers Boggs, 1880
The Seine at Paris by Frank Myers Boggs
The Moulin Rouge and the Rue Lepic as Seen from the Place Blanche by Frank Myers Boggs
The Seine and Notre Dame by Frank Myers Boggs
Our Lady of the Double Bridge by Frank Boggs, 1900
Le Quai de Valmy by Frank Boggs, 1905