ARTIST OF THE WEEK: Wyndham Lewis
Wyndham Lewis (1882 - 1957) was an English painter and one of the key names associated with the Vorticist movement. He was also a prolific writer and the editor of BLAST magazine, a fleeting Vorticist publication. Vorticism was a kind of amalgamation of Cubism and Futurism (make of that what you will). But Lewis was also linked to the Camden Town Group and the Bloomsbury Group’s Omega Workshops.
Despite not being a particularly big household name in British art, Lewis should be considered as a pretty important figure in both avant-garde art and writing. The Tate collection holds a fair few works by Lewis, so head there if you’re interested in this kind of expressive, dynamic style.
Simon Verelst, Eleanor ‘Nell’ Gwyn, c.1680
Oh Nell and her cheeky nip-slips …
ART TIMELINE: 1835
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Venice, La Piazzetta, 1835
Samuel Butler, Mr Heatherley’s Holiday: An Incident in Studio Life, 1874
Caspar David Friedrich, Stages of Life, 1835
Andy Warhol, Nine Jackies, 1964
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: William Etty
William Etty (1787-1849) was an English painter working in the Romanticist era. According to the York Art Gallery, Etty was ‘the first major British painter to specialise in the nude before the 20th century’. This is quite a claim, and I have been sitting here for a good half an hour trying to come up with a name that could question this statement. However there seems to be some factor in each artist I have considered that doesn’t quite fit the claim: Henry Fuseli (worked in Britain, but was born in Switzerland); John William Waterhouse (painted some nudes, but certainly did not ‘specialise’); Hayez, Ingres, Bouguereau, Manet etc. (all great pre-20th century painters of nudes, but none are British). I’ve always been a fan of Etty’s work, but this does make me see him in quite a different light: a pioneering British artist. His name doesn’t get mentioned nearly as much as it should.
Etty’s Hero and Leander is quite possibly my favourite depiction of a tragic romance, even surpassing the endless paintings of the star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet. Hero’s fall is so full of grace, and yet so devastating, as she lands heavily draped over her drowned lover, Leander.
ART TIMELINE: 1864
Gustave Moreau, Oedipus and the Sphinx, 1864
Nadar, Sarah Bernhardt, 1864
Edouard Manet, The Races at Longchamp, 1864
ART TIMELINE: 1789
John Trumbull, The Sortie Made by the Garrison of Gibraltar, 1789
Joseph Wright of Derby, The Cloister of San Cosimato, 1789
Jacques-Louis David, The Lictors Bring to Brutus the Bodies of His Sons, 1789
NUDE OF THE WEEK: Frederic Leighton, Psamanthe, 1880
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Found, 1854
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: Kay Sage, 1898-1963
Le Passage (1956), In the Third Sleep (1944), I Saw Three Cities (1944)
Kay Sage was an American painter. She studied at the Corcoron Art School in Washington D. C., but also spent long periods of time travelling across Europe. In around 1923, whilst in Rome, Sage fell in love with and subsequently married a young Italian prince, Ranieri di San Faustino. They divorced in 1935, and Sage went on to meet her second husband, Surrealist artist Yves Tanguy, in Paris.
After Tanguy’s passed away in 1955, Sage painted very little. Le Passage was completed the year after Tanguy death, and shows the emotional and physical breakdown of Sage after the loss of her husband.
ART TIMELINE: 1763
Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, Grapes and Pomegranates, 1763
George Stubbs, Mares and Foals in a Landscape, 1763-68
George Romney, Jacob Morland of Capplethwaite, 1763
George Catlin, Ball-Play Dance, c.1834-35
NUDE OF THE WEEK: Edward Poynter, Andromeda, 1869
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: John Henry Twachtman, 1853-1902
The White Tree (c.1895), Moonlight, Flanders (c.1885), Fishing Boats at Gloucester (1901)
John Henry Twachtman was an American painter working in an Impressionist style, similar to Frank Weston Benson, Childe Hassam and William Merritt Chase. American Impressionism is often overlooked in favour of the original French style, but it is just as interesting and visually effective as its European counterpart. He was also a member of The Ten (or the Ten American Painters), which was a group formed by members of the Society of American Artists who turned away from the commerciality of the society in 1897.