Johan Christian Dahl – View of Dresden by Moonlight (1839)

“Why has looking at the moon become so beneficiary, so soothing and so sublime?”, asked German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer in 1840. “Because the moon remains purely an object for contemplation, not of the will. […] Furthermore, the moon is sublime, and moves us sublimely because it stays aloof from all our earthly activities, it sees…

Ferdinand Hodler – The Disillusioned One (1892)

Sometimes pain can be overwhelming, stopping in its tracks the most basic instincts: moving, talking, eating, sleeping … the very will to live. Swiss artist Ferdinand Hodler may have known a thing or two about pain, having lost both his parents and all five of his siblings to tuberculosis by the time he reached adulthood….

Carel Willink – Wilma (1932)

I have come to the conclusion that every artist should marry or enter a long term relationship just so that they can paint and sketch a model always at their disposal. This worked wonders for Picasso and many others, who repeatedly featured their lovers and spouses. For Dutch artist Carel Willink, his second wife –…

Marinus van Reymerswaele – The Moneychanger and his Wife (1538)

Today’s post is rather unusual, since it’s about a copy of a better known painting. Some of you may already be familiar with The Moneylender and his Wife by Quentin Massys, a moralizing artwork about the depravity of money that keeps a couple away from spiritual enlightenment. It’s a highly complex painting, with lots of…

Leo Katz – Is This the Meaning of Life? (1937)

When Charles Darwin published his seminal work On the Origin of Species in 1859, he couldn’t have predicted the Pandora’s box that his research would open. Suddenly, the knowledge that populations have come to evolve through the process of natural selection was finding supporters of various stripes, each eager to further their own interests and…