Sunday, December 09, 2018


Jeannette Horlick-Bowles, by Gerald Leslie Brockhurst.

A now forgotten English portraitist who made his name in the United States with a series of society paintings. If the work reminds you of La Gioconda, if only for its setting, that's no coincidence. At 23, while a pupil in the Royal Academy Schools in London, he won a traveling scholarship (and a Gold Medal), enabling him to visit France and especially Italy, where Renaissance artists such as Botticelli and Da Vinci left a lasting impression.

Woman in Black leaning, by Amedeo Modigliani.

The inimitable style of an Italian Jewish painter and sculptor who would have given the world much more, had he not succumbed in 1920 to tubercular meningitis at the age of 35. Like Van Gogh, Modigliani died destitute, since his work wasn't well received, to say the least, during his lifetime. Although his most productive period - the last 14 years of his life - happened to be in Paris, an avant garde laboratory in the early 20th century, it isn't possible to pin down his paintings and sculptures to either Dadaism, Cubism, Surrealism or indeed any other -ism then en vogue. Modigliani's art remains unique and unclassifiable, but if anything, one could posit that West African art (from the old kingdoms on territories in present-day Gabon, Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon) inspired his hallmark, the elongated human form.

Goede nacht.


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