Famous Painters: Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas (1834-1917) was born into a prominent aristocratic family whose surname was de Gas, which Degas found too pretentious to adopt; nor did he often use his full first name, Hilaire-Germain-Edgar. He abandoned his pursuit of law at 18 years of [...]

Vincent van Gogh Paintings: Three Pairs of Shoes

Despite the modern popularity of Vincent van Gogh paintings, the early years of van Gogh (1853-1890) offered nary a hint of his future fame. Shoes, 1886.  Oil on canvas, approximately 15" by 18".  Vincent van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. Born in Groot-Zundert, Holland, to a Calvinist [...]

Monet Paintings at the Marmottan Monet Museum

Art museums often deliver surprises, some of which are statistics like this one: the world's most extensive collection of Monet paintings is in the Marmottan Monet Museum of Paris. Nympheas, 1903.  Oil on canvas, approximately 29" by 36".  Musee Marmottan Monet, Paris. [...]

Monet Paintings: Impression, Sunrise

It's easy to forget that technology drastically affected prior generations, too. An ideal example is the introduction of portable easels and oil paints in tubes, an innovation of the 1870s that facilitated creation of impressionist paintings. Liberated from painting solely in studios, [...]

Famous Painters: Gustave Caillebotte

The least known of all Impressionist painters, Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894) was only 27 when he joined the "independents", the group of painters soon to be labeled the "impressionists." These fellow painters, who included Degas, Monet, Sisley, Renoir, Pissarro, and Cezanne, rejected the [...]

James Abbott McNeill Whistler: Whistler’s Mother

At the age of 21, James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) left his hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts for Paris, where he studied painting with Charles Gleyre (1806-1874), and befriended famous painters including Claude Monet and Gustave Courbet. Man with a Pipe, ca. [...]

Paul Cezanne Paintings: The Red Dress Series

Paul Cezanne.  Madame Cezanne in a Yellow Chair, ca. 1888-1890.  Oil on canvas, 31 7/8" by 25 5/8".  Fondation Beyeler, Basel. The four Paul Cezanne paintings of his wife wearing a red, shawl-collared dress provide unusual insight into his painterly [...]

Madame Cezanne Paintings

Paul Cezanne.  Young Woman with Loosened Hair, ca. 1873-74.  Oil on canvas, 4 3/8" by 6".  Private collection, on loan to Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie, Museum Berggruen. Fans of Cezanne paintings recognize various motifs that recur in his work [...]

Sargent Paintings: Smoke of Ambergris

Smoke of Ambergris is a rarity in Sargent paintings - it is his take on Orientalist art. John Singer Sargent.  Self Portrait, 1906.  Oil on canvas.  Uffizi Gallery, Florence. The Orient, encompassing present-day Greece, Turkey, North Africa and the Middle East, [...]

Vincent van Gogh Paintings 1889-1890

Vincent van Gogh.  Pieta (after Eugene Delacroix), September, 1889. Oil on canvas, approx. 29" by 24".  van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. As discussed in exploring earlier Vincent van Gogh paintings, van Gogh invited Gauguin to visit in Arles, France, and the [...]