Max Kurzweil – Lady in Yellow Dress (1899)

Max Kurzweil was miserable. The Austrian artist had spent his life vacillating between passion and depression, excess and withdrawal. Like Gustave Caillebotte he was stuck between the conservatism of his bourgeois upbringing and the changing tides in art. But Kurzweil couldn’t feel too sorry for himself, for his playground was bohemian Vienna at the turn…

Gyula Benczúr – Narcissus (1881)

We all know the story by now. Narcissus, a beautiful youth, sees his reflection in a pond and falls in love with his image. Yearning to touch the handsome face staring back at him, but realizing that he cannot, Narcissus pines away and dies. After death, in his place sprouts a flower bearing his name….

Finding Roots. Irma Stern’s Zanzibar Paintings (1939 – 1945)

Two men share a cup of coffee together in close intimacy. Ochre turbans regaled with purple ribbons are wrapped around their heads suggesting faraway lands and stories yet untold brewing under the blanket of shared physical space. There’s a cheekiness to the moment, captured in the wink of the man to the left. There’s a…

Félix Vallotton – The Bath. Summer Evening (1892-1893)

Vallotton intended ‘The Bath. Summer Evening’ to be a satire of the bourgeoisie idling its days away around a modern day fountain of youth. But behind the thin veil of irony we get a refreshing glimpse of truth — the female body presented in its diverse, non-idealized forms, with all its idiosyncrasies.

Herbert James Gunn and His Mona Lisa

At thirty-one-years old Herbert James Gunn’s life was only just beginning. Sure, the Scotsman had already been married once, fathered three children, fought in World War I and wandered through the cities of Europe and the sun-drenched north of Africa, milestones which would take many of us a lifetime to achieve. But there he was…

Vittorio Matteo Corcos – The Addict (1899)

Freshly returned from Paris, where he had gained a reputation as the painter of pretty women, at the end of the 1890s Vittorio Matteo Corcos started exploring the underlying psychological dimensions of his favorite subject: women. Marking a departure from his previous paintings that revolved around peacefully content subjects, some of the artworks from this…