Caspar David Friedrich – The Monk by the Sea (1808 – 1810)

“I am not so weak as to submit to the demands of the age when they go against my convictions,” a defiant Caspar David Friedrich declared as his art and the Romantic ideals of the early nineteenth century were falling out of favor towards the end of his life. “I spin a cocoon around myself;…

Emil Filla — Reader of Dostoevsky (1907)

The first time I saw Reader of Dostoevsky I laughed.  It looked exaggerated, like a meme of someone who had just spent the last thirty minutes scrolling through Twitter. Mind you, it’s possible that my reaction was due to my mixed feelings for Dostoevsky himself.  Anyone who has struggled through the Russian’s long winded paragraphs…

M.C. Escher – Relativity (1953)

Fascinated with science and mathematics, Dutch artist Maurits Cornelis Escher tested the perception of reality in his highly elaborate lithographs, woodcuts and mezzotints. Although associated with Surrealism due to the fantastical imagery he depicted, the Dutchman never saw himself as belonging to any movement and approached his art with the rigor of a scientist and…