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Thursday, 14 July 2011

Rejected artwork of the day

The death of Marat, Jacques Louis David, 1793, oil on canvas, Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels, Belgium

The Death of Marat, 1793 (oil on canvas), David, Jacques Louis (1748-1825) 
Although it's always good to remember what followed, it's probably not suitable during a National Day celebration.
Picture from

Artwork of the day

Bastille Day at Lorient 1892, Henry Moret, 1892, oil on canvas, Galerie L'Ergastere, Paris, France

Bastille Day at Lorient, 1892, Moret, Henry (1856-1913)   Picture from

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Women and Impressionism Part 1

Women artists
Impressionism has been widely accepted as the style that first introduced modernism in art. Modernism in both the techniques used by artists and the subjects represented – mainly the emerging industrial city life. Space –as a reality and as a subject in art- is thus a very important part of Impressionism.
Impressionism also saw the rise of a number of women artists like Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Eva Gonzalès and Marie Bracquemond.
What spaces are represented in the art of women impressionists and is there a difference with the spaces depicted by their male colleagues? This question has been central especially to feminist critique. According to Griselda Pollock the spaces represented by women painters are those traditionally related to the bourgeois women of the period: areas or areas related with acceptable female bourgeois leisure, involving child care (picture 1), pass time and intimate garden scenes (picture 2).

 Picture 1. Mary Cassatt, The Bath, 1892, oil on canvas, The Art Institute of Chicago

 Berthe MORISOT «La Chasse aux papillons»
  Picture 2. Berthe Morisot, La Chasse aux papillons, 1874, oil on canvas, 46 x 56 cm, Musée d'Orsay, Paris

The public sphere was not a space where a woman of the bourgeois class could be seen on her own. The honourable woman was secluded in the domestic sphere and thus the places she depicted as an artist were limited to what was expected from her.
These boundaries of domestic space can be seen in the spatial order of the paintings, which constitute the second way in which Pollock views space and femininity. For Pollock, the space in paintings by women impressionists displays the use of facture, demarcation and compression in order to show the boundaries inside the picture itself but at the same time the boundaries of the city, the boundaries between the domestic and the public. If we came back to Morisot’s and Cassatt’s paintings examined earlier we can see that we, as viewers, enter the world of the bourgeois woman, experience it. But at the same time we are denied any intimacy as those represented avoid any eye contact. In the end, we are invited to a world where women can be observed but they themselves cannot observe.

Pollock, G. 2003, Vision and Difference, London & New York: Routledge Classics

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Artwork of the day

Proteus, Cy Twombly, 1984, Synthetic polymer, coloured pencil and graphite on paper 

In memory of Cy Twombly who died yesterday, 5/7/2011.
For an obituary look at:
Picture from Gallery 1 in