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…

Edward Hopper – New York Movie (1939)

“In these days of wars and rumors of wars – haven’t you ever dreamed of a place where there was peace and security, where living was not a struggle but a lasting delight?” This is the question that starts off Frank Capra’s 1937 movie, Lost Horizon. “Of course you have. So has every man since…

August Macke – Woman in a Green Jacket (1913)

As one of the leaders of the short-lived German Expressionist group Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), August Macke shared the belief that colors should express moods and feelings instead of representing an objective reality. The German’s preoccupation with color is evident in Woman in a Green Jacket where the main subject is set against…

Jeffrey Smart – The Steps

Obsessed with perfection in his highly geometric paintings, Australian artist Jeffrey Smart was known for his still, urban landscapes. The Steps is a representative painting of Smart’s, with its emphasis on the geometry of the climbing staircase, the overcast sky and the lonely, contemplative woman dressed in yellow at the top. Notice how bright the…