Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka – Castellammare di Stabia (1902)

Today his name is largely unknown outside of Hungary, but Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka was actually rather good at promoting himself. In fact, if he were still alive today, he’d probably write a self-help book based on his life: “How to be an Artist – the Long and Winding Road”. Here’s the blueprint: ~ Have your…

Henri Matisse – The Conversation (1908 – 1912)

“I love you dearly, mademoiselle, but I shall always love painting more”, Henri Matisse reportedly told his future wife, Amélie Parayre, soon after they met. The warning was true and it came to define the couple’s four-decade long marriage. It’s hard to tell how much love there was between them or if pragmatism ruled them…

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…

Emiliano Di Cavalcanti – Woman with a Bird (1961)

A pioneer of Brazilian modernism, Emiliano Di Cavalcanti’s ideal had always been to capture the essence of his country without the influence of European art. It was, foremost, an issue of national pride, magnified by the fact that Latin Americans everywhere were searching for their own voice. This conviction was certainly strengthened by his years…

Max Ernst – The Virgin Spanking the Christ Child (1926)

A true innovator and provocateur, German artist Max Ernst was one of the leading figures of Surrealism and the Dada art movements, blending in mythology, Christian iconography and Freudian psychology in his dark, dreamlike artworks. The gruesome experience of fighting during World War I made him realize that the world was irrational, objective reality being…