Lucas Cranach the Elder

Lucas Cranach the Elder (Lucas Cranach der Altere, 4 October 1472 – 16 October 1553), was a German Renaissance painter and printmaker in woodcut and engraving. He was court painter to the Electors of Saxony for most of his career, and is known for his portraits, both of German princes and those of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation, whose cause he…

Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519, Old Style) was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance Man, a man of “unquenchable curiosity” and “feverishly inventive imagination”.…

Katsushika Hokusai

Katsushika Hokusai (October or November 1760 – May 10, 1849) was a Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter and printmaker of the Edo period. He was influenced by such painters as Sesshu, and other styles of Chinese painting. Born in Edo (now Tokyo), Hokusai is best known as author of the woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (c. 1831) which includes the internationally recognized print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, created…

John Martin

“John Martin: Apocalypse” at Tate Britain. To say that the art of John Martin divided nineteenth-century critical opinion would be something of an understatement. The eminent Victorian, Edward Bulwer Lytton – the man who coined the phrase “the pen is mightier than the sword” – declared Martin to be “the greatest, the most lofty, the…

Johann Heinrich Fussli

Henry Fuseli was born in Switzerland, the son of a painter and writer, Johann Caspar Fuseli (sometimes spelt Füssli, 1707-82). His father’s love of art and literature was transmitted to his son, manifesting itself in such works as The Death of Oedipus (1784) and Titania and Bottom (c. 1780-90), as well as in Henry’s later…

Johannes Vermeer

Dutch painter. He specialized in domestic interiors, portraits and city views. His entire life was spent in Delft, where, it has been suggested, he may have been trained by Leonaert Bramer or Carel Fabritius. His work does indeed show an affinity with that of Fabritius, but their relationship remains uncertain. Vermeer was a Master in…

Jan Van Eyck

“Few people have been so eclipsed by their younger brother as Hubert was by Jan van Eyck. Today, Hubert is the merest phantom; he is that part of the Ghent altarpiece of The Adoration of the Lamb which is not by Jan – the curl of paper left by art historians when they have finished…

Jacopo Tintoretto

“Tintoretto stayed at home, but he felt in his own person a craving for something that Titian could not teach him. The Venice he was born in was not the Venice of Titian’s early youth, and his own adolescence fell in the period when Spain was rapidly making herself mistress of Italy. The haunting sense…

Hieronymus Bosch

Hieronymus Bosch born Jeroen Anthoniszoon van Aken c. 1450 – 9 August 1516), was a Dutch painter. His work is known for its use of fantastic imagery to illustrate moral and religious concepts and narratives. Bosch produced several triptychs. Among his most famous is The Garden of Earthly Delights. This painting, for which the original…

Hans Memling

The School of Bruges was ever popular in the fifteenth century. It got off to a flying start with the incomparable art of Jan van Eyck and was continued by his successor, Petrus Christus. The formulaic but appealing painting of Hans Memling was conservative, technically highly skillful, and spiritually reassuring. His was the other side…

Gustave Moreau

Although threatened by the fleeting truths of modern experience that artists like Manet, Degas, or Monet elected to paint, classical mythology, like a proper education in Greek and Latin, remained a cornerstone of nineteenth-century art and culture, propagated by the academies and illustrated in countless official paintings. It was also subject to intensely personal, even…

Gustave Dore

Doré was born in Strasbourg and his first illustrated story was published at the age of fifteen. His talent was evident even earlier, however. At age five he had been a prodigy troublemaker, playing pranks that were mature beyond his years. Seven years later, he began carving in cement. Subsequently, as a young man, he…

Gustav Klimt

“Gustav Klimt first made himself known by the decorations he executed (with his brother and their art school companion F. Matsch), for numerous theatres and above all (on his own this time) for the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, where he completed, in a coolly photographic style, the work begun by Makart. At the age of…

Giovanni Bellini

The Resurrection by Giovanni Bellini Easter Sunday’s picture is Giovanni Bellini’s intensely beautiful and uplifting Resurrection. Now in the Gemaldegalerie in Berlin, it was originally commissioned by a Venetian aristocrat, Marco Zorzi, as the altarpiece of his family’s funerary chapel in the church of San Michele in Isola, a small island between Venice and Murano.…

Giotto di Bondone

“The first of the great personalities in Florentine painting was Giotto. Although he affords no exception to the rule that the great Florentines exploited all the arts in the endeavor to express themselves, he, Giotto, renowned as an architect and sculptor, reputed as wit and versifier, differed from most of his Tuscan successors in having…

Francisco de Zurbaran

Francisco de Zurbaran’s apprenticeship was undertaken in Seville, where he met Velazquez and became one of the city’s official painters. His commission to decorate the king’s palace in Madrid was most probably the result of his continuing friendship with the older, and more successful, Spanish artist. Zurbaran was chiefly a portrait painter and his religious subjects,…

Fernand Khnopff

Born in Eastern Flanders, of a family of magistrates, Khnopff grew up in Bruges. He enrolled at the Law School in Brussels which he soon abandoned for the Académie des Beaux-Arts. There he studied under Xavier Mellery who taught him to consider painting as an enquiry into the meaning hidden in the “soul of things”.…

Felicien Rops

A Baudelairian graphic artist much admired by Péladan; a Belgian who lived most of his life in Paris. He attended the Namur Académie, then went on to Brussels while atttending the workshop of Saint-Luc. In 1856 he founded the satirical weekly ‘Uylenspiegel’. In 1868 he became Vice-President of the Société Libre des Beaux-Arts de Brussels.…

Eugene Delacroix

“The last of the great artists of the Renaissance and the first modern’; thus Baudelaire on Delacroix. For Baudelaire, Delacroix’s position as one of the great figures of art history was assured not just by his daring and originality qualities generally considered Romantic – but for the fact that they found expression within a tradition.…