The Story of French Impressionism, Part X: Paul Gauguin

Paul Gaugin (1848-1903) (pronounced "go-gan") was born during a tumultuous political epoch of revolutionary upheaval throughout Europe. His mother descended from both Spanish aristocracy, as well as socialist revolutionaries, while Gauguin's father ran a Socialist newspaper that was suppressed forcing the young family to flee Paris. Young Paul idolized his grandmother on his mother's side, … Continue reading The Story of French Impressionism, Part X: Paul Gauguin

The Story of French Impressionism, Part VII: Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas (1834-1917) (pronounced "day-dahs" but in later life he changed the pronunciation to "day-gah") never wished to be called an "Impressionist" instead preferring to be called a "Realist." In his paintings he was obsessed with motion, particularly of dancers, which occupied nearly half of his works. Degas was raised in an upper middles-class family. … Continue reading The Story of French Impressionism, Part VII: Edgar Degas

The Story of French Impressionism, Part IV: Alfred Sisley and Frédéric Bazille

Alfred Sisley (1839-1899) was born into a wealthy English family in Paris. His father ran a successful silk trade, which afforded him an upper middle-class lifestyle, unlike his penniless contemporaries, Monet and Renoir. As a young man, Sisley went to study business in London, but he left after four years to return to Paris to study art. … Continue reading The Story of French Impressionism, Part IV: Alfred Sisley and Frédéric Bazille

Case Study: Neoclassicism, “The Death of Socrates”

"The Death of Socrates" or "La Morte de Socrate" is perhaps the most famous painting from the French artistic epoch dubbed the Neoclassical period. It is an oil on canvas painting, created in 1787 by Jacques Louis David (1748-1925, pronounced "Jahk Lewie Dahveed"), one of the main artists of the "Neoclassical" style. Our initial observations … Continue reading Case Study: Neoclassicism, “The Death of Socrates”